Many know Cincinnati for its stunning German architecture, its beautiful riverfront and its famous chili. But as the city progresses through the 21st Century, it has picked up another reputation: an ideal destination for STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—professionals.
WalletHub recently published 2018’s Best and Worst Metro Areas for STEM Professionals. They ranked Cincinnati 11th in the nation and first in Ohio.
“When I first saw these rankings, I felt proud to work at UC and work with engineers and technologists,” said Todd Foley, PhD, director of engineering and technology initiatives at the University of Cincinnati (UC).
“Over many years, UC has cultivated and developed a strong relationship with the city and local businesses,” he said. “These rankings show that the hard work others have put in to help create a welcoming community for STEM professionals and STEM oriented businesses has paid off.”
To rank the best cities for STEM professionals, WalletHub compared the 100 largest metro areas in the country using 17 key metrics, including job openings, annual median wages, quality of engineering universities in the area and housing affordability. Cincinnati found itself alongside other Midwestern cities like Minneapolis, Madison and Chicago. The city also landed a spot above the historically tech-driven San Francisco.
“Cincinnati is a STEM city,” said Foley. “The city was built on manufacturing, and today our long tradition of being a pioneer in industry permeates through every aspect of life.”
Foley also credited UC’s nationally renowned cooperative education (co-op) program for the ranking. Recognized as the founding institution of co-op, UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) requires every traditional engineering student to complete five semesters of co-op before graduation.
“UC has been providing undergraduate and graduate talent in engineering and technology for more than a century,” Foley said. “Industries here rely on co-op students to serve as professionals in their businesses and strengthen their workforce. Similarly, UC relies on the business community to help provide the experiences necessary to train tomorrow’s leaders.”
As long as the STEM field continues to grow rapidly, STEM workers will be in demand. The higher wages and job security of this sector are enticing more and more students entering college to pursue STEM disciplines. Foley is hopeful that UC and the city can continue to provide for this growing workforce.
“The city invests a lot in businesses and in attracting new businesses to the region,” he said. “From our strong startup communities to our multinational corporations, Cincinnati has something for everyone.”