Our region has one of the highest STEM job concentrations – but only for college grads

A new study from the Brookings Institution finds that 27% of jobs in our region require skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). That number (math!) is the second highest metropolitan STEM concentration in the country:

Brookings identifies “computer occupations” as the most commonly held STEM job in the Washington area, with a total of 205,890 positions in this category in 2011. This easily surpasses the number of jobs in occupations such as “health diagnosing and treating practitioners,” which had 81,550 positions; financial specialists, 57,760; and engineers, 46,990.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we rank second-to-last for STEM jobs that don’t require a college education. Nationwide, blue-collar jobs account for 50 percent of STEM employment – but only 30 percent here. (WaPo, 6/10)

Related: Here’s the full Brookings report – The Hidden STEM EconomyClick the picture to the right for our region’s profile.

– Editorial:
 Dramatically invoking the image of Charon ferrying the dead across the Styx, the Post’s editorial board digs into Metro’s culture of failure (WaPo, 6/10):

Metrorail is a slow-rolling embarrassment whose creeping obsolescence is so pervasive, and so corrosive, that Washingtonians are increasingly abandoning it.

– Meanwhile, Capital Bikeshare is thriving. The Examiner points out that the (totally awesome) service is becoming a tool for economic development. (Examiner, 6/10)

Transit’ Might Not Be Essential to Transit-Oriented Development (Atlantic, 6/10) Next they’re probably going to tell us that “oriented” isn’t essential either. Sheesh.

Opinion: A Salon writer suggests that for-profit colleges engage in predatory behavior against ambitious African-Americans. It’s an interesting read. (Salon, 6/9)

Editorial: Another editorial from the Post looks at David Catania’s plans for education reform in the District, or what they call the “imperious way he has tried to seize control.” (WaPo, 6/8)

– New data show that Maryland and the District are among the best in the country in academic gains for low-income students. (Examiner, 6/10)

–  As the great poets Smash Mouth once said, “My world’s on fire, how ’bout yours?” Well, it turns out that ours is, too (kind of). Global warming is driving temperatures up and the CDC is encouraging us to help prepare at-risk populations to deal with extreme heat. (RWJF, 6/10)

Cleaner Rivers, Higher Bills, More D.C. Jobs? (CP, 6/10)

There’s no better way to start a Monday morning than by listening to the Indiana Jones theme. It really gives you a sense of purpose. The only problem is that by the time it’s over, you feel like you’ve rescued the Ark of the Covenant, defeated the Nazis, and gotten the girl. So you just want to go home and relax.

On a more serious note, and with no specific commentary on the subject, I highly recommend watching the interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.