A study released today says jobs asking for science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – skills are harder to fill than jobs without STEM requirements.
The Brookings Institution looked at how long it takes to fill positions in the nation’s largest metro areas and found that STEM job vacancies last twice as long as other types of job openings. The study says demand for STEM workers in both white-collar and blue-collar jobs is great, but worker scarcity increases with higher education requirements.
Associate Fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, Jonathan Rothwell, said STEM hiring challenges are becoming more acute. “We need to take very seriously the efforts of universities, nonprofits, corporations all around the country that have already begun to mobilize around trying to fill the gap in skills that our country is confronting, and really get a larger percentage of people the opportunity to study and thrive in these fields.”
STEM skills are often valued at a higher rate than non-STEM skills and Rothwell said STEM education is key to producing workers with high-paying careers.
Pennsylvania’s urban areas fared better than other cities around the U.S. Pittsburgh does relatively well filling its STEM jobs, but Philadelphia is about average nationwide. In Philadelphia and Pittsburgh about 40-percent of job advertisements have STEM requirements.