Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics

About the Industry

Local Industry

Careers in the STEM cluster involve solving problems through research and design. Many of the life, physical, and social science; architecture and engineering; and math occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) are assigned to this cluster.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counted about 2 million jobs in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) occupations that are assigned to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics cluster. Median annual wages for these occupations ranged from $38,310 for social science research assistants to $132,320 for petroleum engineers.

Nearly all of the occupations in this cluster typically require a bachelor’s or higher degree for entry. But specific designations also include, for example, an associate’s degree for occupations such as social science research assistants.

More than half of the projected job openings in occupations assigned to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics cluster are in the engineering and technology pathway. The occupation expected to have the most job openings in the cluster is mechanical engineers.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Kansas City’s architecture and engineering industry is responsible for the foundation of the city’s infrastructure. As early as the 1900s, Kansas City engineering firms began to notice problems with Kansas City’s infrastructure including its water system and electric lights.

In 1898, Clinton Burns and Robert McDonnell joined to form Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, and tackled the sewer sanitation system in Kansas City and surrounding towns. After several projects in its first year, the new company made a profit of only 13 cents. Burns & McDonnell designed Kansas City’s first water treatment plant, which it updated again in 1945 to carry 150 million gallons of water per day.

In 1915, Ernst Bateman Black and Nathan Thomas Veatch, began a partnership that would become an engineering legacy. Black & Veatch began building roadways and streets in Kansas City in 1925. By 1928, 250 miles of modern roadway were placed throughout the Kansas City area.

Many civic projects in Kansas City were constructed in the 1960s and 70s including the Truman Sports Complex, KCI Airport, Kemper Arena and the Truman Medical Center.

HOK Group also succeeded in the sports, venue and event industry. In 1983, HOK Sport Venue Event division, now called Populous, was formed and employed eight architects and engineers. Populous was responsible for master planning the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.

The concentration of successful architecture and engineering companies has made Kansas City a leader in the industry.

Source: Kansas City Area Development Council

Education in the Northland

Arts & Communication

11 programs

Business, Management, & Technology

11 programs

Industrial & Engineering Technology

18 programs

Health Services

10 programs

Human Services

18 programs

Natural Resources & Agriculture

3 programs

Degrees & Disciplines

A.A.S. to Bachelor of Applied Science

12 emphasis areas

Agricultural Sciences

20 programs


35 programs

Communication & Mass Media

19 programs

Online Professional Development

STEM Courses

16 courses

Companies in the Northland

Click on the companies below to learn about their current career opportunities.