From larger than average salaries to steady job security, careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are in high demand across the country. To determine which cities hold the most promise for STEM professionals, WalletHub analyzed 100 of the most populated metro areas.

2016's Best Metro Areas for STEM Professionals

STEM careers have steadily increased and will continue to grow over the next few years. In fact, STEM jobs are expected to grow almost 2 time fast than other fields by 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this field is in demand for both job seekers and companies alike, there are cities that offer better career opportunities than other metros.

WalletHub looked at 16 factors, listed below, to determine which metros are the best for STEM professionals:

  • Job Openings for STEM Graduates per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Percentage of All Workers in STEM Positions: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Projected Number of STEM Jobs Needed in 2020*: Half Weight (~3.85 Points)
  • STEM-Employment Growth: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate for Residents with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Mathematics Performance (fourth and eighth grade math test scores)*: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Number of Engineering Universities in Top 100 U.S. News & World Report Ranking: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Quality of Engineering Universities (Engineering Universities US News Score) Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Research & Development (R&D) Spending*: Half Weight (~3.85 Points)
  • Research & Development (R&D) Intensity (R&D expenditures expressed as a percentage of the GDP)*: Half Weight (~3.85 Points)
  • Tech-Startup Density: Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Annual Median Wage for STEM Workers (adjusted for cost of living): Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • Annual Median Wage Growth for STEM Workers (2012-2014): Half Weight (~3.85 Points)
  • Housing Affordability (“annual median wage for STEM workers” divided by “median gross rent”): Full Weight (~7.69 Points)
  • WalletHub “Recreation” Ranking: Half Weight (~3.85 Points)
  • WalletHub “Families” Ranking: Half Weight (~3.85 Points)

While the Silicon Valley area lands the top spot, Wisconsin and Texas metro areas both made the list of top 10 metros for STEM professionals twice. Here are the top 10 areas, to see the full list head over to WalletHub’s study.

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
  2. Austin-Round Rock, TX
  3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
  6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. Columbus, OH