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Stats United States Science Technology

How Engineers and Scientists Cluster In the U.S. 79

First time accepted submitter DERoss writes "The National Science Foundation has published a research paper titled Regional Concentrations of Scientists and Engineers In the United States. The lead paragraph contains the sentence 'The three most populous states — California, Texas, and New York — together accounted for more than one-fourth of all S&E employment in the United States.' According to the 2010 census, however, those three states also contain more than one-fourth (26.5%) percent of the U.S. population. In other words, there is no concentration beyond how the general population is concentrated." The clustering is studied with finer granularity than the per-state level, though, and the paper names several places (like the Santa Clara area, and Houston) where such jobs are particularly prevalent.
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How Engineers and Scientists Cluster In the U.S.

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  • What is the point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LikwidCirkel ( 1542097 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @02:29PM (#44665055)
    Can someone please explain to me what the point of this is? Even the summary suggests there is no point. The is the worst slow-news-day posting I've ever seen here.
  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @02:58PM (#44665177)

    Knowing where the engineers cluster, and why, can help plan industries or plan job hunting. The clustering also strongly affects engineer salaries and competitive skills, and where to plan conferences of engineering or computer science. And fine granularity can be very helpful for start-up companies, advancing to mid-size companies, who need a larger pool of qualified employees as they move to larger offices.

    Conversely, knowing where the _managers_ like to work is important as well. I know competent engineers who literally can get nothing done because their managers call them in for 3 or 4 meetings on the same day, demanding status reports on the projects the engineers would be working on if they weren't in meetings. This is partly because they are in cramped offices where the managers can reach them too easily and keep trying to micromanage the engineers, asking "when will you have a fix for this" and recording it on Gant charts.

  • where the jobs are (Score:5, Insightful)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @03:34PM (#44665341)
    Engineers cluster where the jobs are. So do most people. We're sort of past the question, which came first, the population or the jobs? Businesses build where they can acquire (1)people (2)space (3)economic benefits (4)access to transportation for goods. That describes most of the urban population centers (although #2 might require building in the suburbs).
  • by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @03:54PM (#44665447)

    by this measure, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are a leading cluster

    It's called "pork". I frequently travel to the Rockville-Gaithersburg-Germantown corridor of Maryland on business, and I never fail to be amazed just how much STEM work is there, and in nearby areas, mostly sucking off the government teat. I know it extends well beyond STEM, but that's the part of it that's most visible to me. It's nice to know the rest of the country's tax dollars are going towards keeping the people there fat and happy, while most of the rest of the country limps along.

  • by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @04:40PM (#44665661)

    The summary says that there is no state-level clustering shown by the 3 most populous states, not that there is no clustering whatsoever. (I think the main implication is that these states are so large that they behave like they are more than one state.)

    Table 1 shows 4.1% of all workers across the country are in science and engineering, and the spread for NY, CA and TX is 3.6-4.9, so they're pretty close. However, there are other states that stray quite far from this, such as Mississippi at 1.7% to DC at 10.7%.

    The paper then goes on to suggest that there may be clustering at the municipal level or by field, but unfortunately does not show the "intensity" figures for those cases.

  • by confused one ( 671304 ) on Saturday August 24, 2013 @04:46PM (#44665705)
    fair enough. I can't argue with that; although, there have been a number of analysis done which showed that without the support of people who happened to be living in the San Francisco bay area, and the liberal support of the University of California system, Silicon Valley could not have happened. Attempts to replicate it have failed due to a lack of the right people or lack of economic support.

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