Friday, February 26, 2016

STEM Occupations Taking Root in Eastern Oregon

STEM has become all the rage in recent years. The topic of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) often bubbles up in the conversation when discussing educational needs or employment opportunities. This may be for good reason as most occupations in STEM fields are considered high wage and many are in high demand.

At the national level, job prospects abound and encompass almost all possible STEM occupations. For instance, a prospective astronomer might find work in one of 400 openings expected for this occupation over the next 10 years, as long as the job seeker is willing to relocate. But narrowing the selection area to the state or county level often narrows job prospects as well. Which begs the question, what does STEM employment look like in Eastern Oregon?

As noted in the December issue of Eastern Oregon Local Labor Trends, the Oregon Employment Department’s 2012 to 2022 occupational projections show 23,769 total job openings for the region by 2022; STEM jobs account for 7.9 percent (1,871) of these openings. This is lower than both the national and state levels. At the national level, STEM jobs account for 11.8 percent of total openings by 2024 and for Oregon overall STEM jobs account for 10.9 percent of total openings by 2022. However, on par with both the U.S. and Oregon, health care jobs account for the largest share of STEM openings.

To learn more about STEM Occupations in Eastern Oregon, read Regional Economist Chris Rich's article "STEM Occupations Taking Root in Eastern Oregon".

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