High Pay Without A Four-Year Degree?
Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology|Fall 2019 Volume 34 Issue 2
High Pay Without A Four-Year Degree?
Consider A Blue-collar Stem Career
Alfred Lewis

The future is bright for blue collar STEM occupations. Blue-collar STEM careers are defined as those requiring technical skills, problem solving, and specialized training that is more than a high school diploma, but less than a traditional four-year degree. These types of jobs cut across many industries, such as IT, computer science, engineering, energy, and many more. These jobs range from staff who install, maintain, and service systems in homes and businesses to programmers who develop and maintain landing pages, login portals, servers, and databases.

These jobs are also spread out across the United States in larger swaths than higher-education STEM careers, which tend to be more centrally located within specific metropolitan areas. The Hidden STEM Economy states, “sub-bachelor’s STEM jobs are prevalent in every large metropolitan area.” Specifically, the metropolitan areas of San Jose, CA and Washington, D.C. were noted to have the most STEM-based economies, while Baton Rouge, LA; Birmingham, AL; and Wichita, KS have the greatest share of STEM jobs that do not require four-year degrees. These broad options for employment and more widely distributed locations offer job seekers and students a lot of options for future employment.

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Fall 2019 Volume 34 Issue 2