Lehigh Valley Research Consortium, a collaboration between researchers at local education institutions, released its "State of the Lehigh Valley report" on Friday at DeSales center. The group includes Cedar Crest, Lafayette, Moravian, Muhlenberg, and Lehigh Carbon Community Colleges, as well as DeSales and Lehigh Universities.
The group acknowledged that the local economy is improving and more jobs will be coming. The jobs will mainly be in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, hence the acronym STEM. These types of jobs currently make up 19% of employment in the Lehigh Valley and the report believes that amount will grow.
According to the report, these STEM jobs do not always require a bachelor degree, some can be obtained with an associates degree or specialized technical training post high school. Additionally, the STEM jobs requiring less than a bachelors degree still pay more than non-STEM jobs that require a bachelors degree or higher.
The average salary for STEM jobs are $54,000 per year versus non-STEM job which pay $36,000 per year. Also there are super-STEM jobs, employment that requires bachelors or higher, and the Consortium report predicts that the Lehigh Valley will get more of these even higher paying jobs.