Greensboro, NC -- A new report released by the Brookings Institution ranked the Greensboro-High Point area 84th among the nation's largest metro areas when it comes to having jobs that require high-level STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) knowledge. Although the report is new, researchers based their findings on data collected in 2011.
According to the report, STEM jobs pay workers at a higher rate. In the Greensboro area, STEM workers earned an average of $61,405. Non-STEM workers earned an average of $35,218.
However, when it comes to STEM related jobs that only require an Associate's Degree or less, Greensboro ranks much higher: 23rd. Over the past few years, key business leaders and the Guilford County School District have made efforts to increase STEM education and encourage students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math.
Guilford County's STEM Early College Principal Stacey Alston said, "That's why I think my school is here. They know they need to do a better job of recruiting STEM companies here to help meet the demands of the students we are producing."
NC A&T University has also added STEM graduate and undergraduate programs. Students have even helped create several companies in the Triad based on their STEM skills.
"I definitely feel that if the survey was done at this point in time, it would definitely be different and better results for the area," A&T Director of Outreach and Technology Transfer Louis Judge said.
Timco has also been expanding in the Triad and looking for people with STEM skills.
"They may not get through our filters if they don't have STEM skills. It is critical. There is no way you can run a machine today without some type of education in math and science," Timco spokesperson Kip Blakely said.
Researchers also argue lawmakers have spent too much time focusing on supporting STEM careers that require a bachelor's degree, when a significant number of jobs do not require that level of education.
According to the Brookings Institution, "As of 2011, 26 million U.S. jobs-20 percent of all jobs-require a high level of knowledge in any one STEM field."