Title

STEM and Soft Occupational Competencies: Analyzing the Value of Strategic Regional Human Capital

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-13-2020

Publication Title

Economic Development Quarterly

Abstract

This research examines the distribution of STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—and soft-skill competencies in occupations within regional economies in the United States. This research explores the public policy question: Do occupational competencies offer a better measure of regional human capital than the commonly used metric of educational attainment? Policy makers at all levels of government have increasingly emphasized STEM education as vital to economic well-being. This research finds support for the importance of STEM occupational competencies to regional median wage and productivity, but findings also indicate the important contributions of “soft skills” to regional economic well-being. This suggests new avenues for region-focused training and human capital development aligned to occupational skill demands that reward workers and benefit regions.

Original Citation

Stewart, F., Yeom, M., & Stewart, A. (2020). STEM and Soft Occupational Competencies: Analyzing the Value of Strategic Regional Human Capital. Economic Development Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891242420948604

DOI

10.1177/0891242420948604

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