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Top 10 U.S. markets for STEM graduates

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Geography is destiny for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) graduates, a new analysis shows. Divya Raghavan of NerdWallet looked at factors such as the percentage of total jobs across major U.S. metro areas that require a STEM bachelor’s degree, along with average salaries and the strength of local economies.

Photo credit: NASA

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: Two words: Silicon Valley. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher$115,744. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 24.10%

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: Two words: Federal government. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher$101,058. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 19.10%.

3. Huntsville, AL: NASA. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $91,873. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 20.60%.

4. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA: Also Silicon Valley. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $104,041. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 15.20%.

5. Trenton-Ewing, NJ: Concentration of pharmaceuticals, near New York City. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $94,547. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 15.40%.

6. Boulder, CO: One of the most educated areas in the nation. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $86,883. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher16.90%.

7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA: Major region for information technology, life sciences and healthcare. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $89,882. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 15.90%.

8. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH: Healthcare and research industries. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $97,307. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 13.60%.

9. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, manufacturing, healthcare, automotive and biomedical research. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $83,759. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 16.70%.

10. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA: Agriculture and healthcare. Average salary for job requiring STEM BA or higher: $90,782. Percent of jobs requiring STEM BA or higher: 14.00%.

— By on July 17, 2013, 1:03 PM PST

Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure