Rank Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in terms of where you think is the best place for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) workers.
Does Syracuse top ANYONE’S list?
But WalletHub put Syracuse way of ahead of Buffalo and Rochester on its “Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Workers list.”
Syracuse ranked 36th, Buffalo 58th and Rochester 78th.
How does Rochester, home to Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester, as well as a host of technology-related companies, fall short?
WalletHub used 11 factors to determine its ranking. The company did not break down each metro area’s score on each factor. That means we can’t tell from the published report why Syracuse came out on top. The only insight we have is that Syracuse was on a list for having the best STEM high schools, which was one of the factors.
– Job openings per capita for STEM graduates. WalletHub doesn’t state how it measured job openings. According to Brookings, Buffalo and Syracuse had .005 STEM job openings per capita in the first quarter of 2013. Rochester had .004. (I took the Brookings job opening data and divided by each metro’s population.)
– Percentage of all workers in STEM occupations: On this measurement, Brookings found Rochester comes out on top, at 20.9 percent, ranking Rochester 30th in the country. Syracuse comes in at 18.7 percent, ranking the metro 72nd in the country. Buffalo comes in at 18.5 percent, with a 73rd ranking. Rochester also blows away Syracuse and Buffalo in the number of patents per thousand workers, ranking 6th in the country.
– Projected number of STEM jobs needed in 2018: WalletHub notes that this data was only available at the state level, so it wouldn’t have an impact on any comparison among New York cities.
– STEM employment growth: I don’t have this data to compare cities.
– Unemployment rate for people with bachelor’s degrees or higher: According to 2012 census data, Syracuse’s unemployment rate for college-educated workforce was 3.1 percent. Buffalo’s was 3.9 and Rochester’s 4.6. This factor doesn’t break down how educated STEM workers are faring. Brookings indicates there’s demand for STEM workers in all three cities, as jobs take longer to fill.
– Annual median wage for STEM workers: Brookings reports the wages for STEM workers in Rochester are $65,720. Wages are $65,131 in Syracuse and $64,231 in Buffalo. Brookings also reports the average market value for advertised STEM jobs in Rochester is $56,499, 60th in the country. In Buffalo, the average advertised wage is $55,582, 75th in the country, and in Syracuse, it’s is $54,391, 88th in the country.
– Annual media wage growth for STEM workers: I don’t have data to compare cities.
– Housing affordability: WalletHub used median rents. By using cost of renting and not cost of buying a house, Rochester comes out badly.
– WalletHub used its own rankings for best cities for recreation and families. Rochester and Syracuse weren’t ranked on the recreation study. Buffalo and Rochester ranked poorly on the families study, in which Syracuse was not ranked.
In summary, it’s important for the media go through the methodology of these made-up lists and not publish them as gospel. There’s no question Upstate cities can do a better job attracting STEM jobs, but the above data shows WalletHub didn’t capture the whole picture.
Links of the Day:
– New York is still keeping film tax credits, which have dubious economic benefits, a mystery.
– The majority of United States public school students live in poverty.
– We are enduring “a hysterical moment in American society. We believe children are in danger every single second they are unsupervised.”
– New York is starting a program that could get broadband providers to do big upgrades.
– The former Sibley store in downtown Syracuse will become a theater arts center.