Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hot STEM Occupations in Utah

 Eric Martinson, Economist

A new ranking of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations substantiates what is generally known; computer science occupations are hot in Utah. They are both desired by employers and well compensated.

A few months ago the Utah Technology Council (UTC) reached out to the Workforce Research and Analysis division here at DWS with a request to come up with a list of STEM occupations that are currently high in demand, projected to grow in the short term and that pay relatively well. UTC is interested in evaluating and understanding Utah’s technology industry, to access talent needs and potential talent shortages and in turn help advise Utah’s academic and government communities in how to advance Utah’s technology-sustaining labor force.

The UTC identifies itself as the state’s leading professional association for “growing and protecting” over 6,000 high tech, clean tech and life science companies. Our collaboration with them resulted in a list of the top 50 STEM occupations in Utah ranked according to current and projected short-term (two years) demand. Current demand evaluates U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment estimates for Utah along with current job orders placed with DWS. Short-term demand is measured by the projected dynamic within employment—that dynamic is a mixture of replacement within existing jobs joined with the growth from new jobs. The combination offers a picture of Utah’s need for technology talent. Finally, Utah median prevailing wage estimates are included using Bureau of Labor Statistics data to not only give a reference to the “reward” associated with the job, but also to illustrate the value these jobs bring to the Utah economy.

Computer Science occupations dominate the top of the list, with occupations such as applications software developers, network and computer systems administrators, and systems software developers in high demand. These typically pay above-median wages.

Other occupations include those related to the health care industry (e.g., nursing), as well as the finance industry (e.g., accountants and auditors, financial and credit analysts). Several engineering occupations also made the list.

To read chart, click once to open and again to enlarge.

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