Florida ranks in bottom five of cities to work in STEM fields


Florida has it rough. The Sunshine State is constantly being mocked for crazy criminals, silly politicians and an over abundance of old people. Now, according to a study, it’s being dubbed a pretty crappy place for people working in STEM fields.

Of 100 studies looked at by analysts for WalletHub, three Florida cities rank in the bottom five for the overall benefit to workers in science, technology, engineering or math.

Miami comes in dead last on the list with North Port at 98 and Daytona Beach at 95. Perhaps these waterfront cities are just too focused on the hospitality industry.

Palm Bay has the fifth lowest employment growth in STEM industries. Tampa and Orlando are not doing so well at educating high school students in STEM subjects. Both cities are ranked in the bottom five of the STEM high schools index.

North Port has the lowest annual median wage growth for employees in those industries and Miami is ranked in the bottom five for housing affordability for STEM professionals.

This is bad news for Florida Governor Rick Scott who frequently touts those industries as being key economic drivers in the state. STEM jobs are often seen as some of the most quality in terms of high-paying careers. Florida’s job growth is often criticized for growing in low-wage jobs.

The study looked at how many STEM are available per person, the average STEM wage and the projected number of STEM jobs in the future.

“Given such high demand, STEM careers are currently some of the most lucrative in the country, earning higher salaries and facing lower threats of unemployment compared with non-STEM workers,” the study points out.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for STEM careers in 2013 was just shy of $80,000 – 71 percent higher than the national median salary for all jobs.

Governor Scott’s man crush, Texas Governor Rick Perry, is kicking STEM butt. Houston and Texas take the top two spots on the WalletHub list.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


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