Science- and Technology-Focused (STF) Postsecondary Options in the Pittsburgh Area
Jan 9, 2023
Over the past decade, more than 10 billion dollars has been invested in Pittsburgh tech companies, with more than 3.5 billion invested in 2021 alone. With the context of such strong sectoral growth in mind, RAND researchers set out to characterize the science- and technology-focused (STF) workforce ecosystem in the Pittsburgh region and suggest policy changes and investment opportunities to help propel the region's STF sectors in the future.
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Over the past decade, more than 10 billion dollars has been invested in Pittsburgh tech companies, with more than 3.5 billion invested in 2021 alone. With the context of such strong sectoral growth in mind, RAND Corporation researchers set out to characterize the science- and technology-focused (STF) workforce ecosystem in the Pittsburgh region and suggest policy changes and investment opportunities to future-proof the ecosystem.
Researchers sought to define STF occupations in a regionally relevant way, characterize the current state of the STF ecosystem, identify barriers and facilitators to participation in the STF ecosystem, and develop strategies to facilitate the STF ecosystem's continued growth. To achieve these goals, the research team used qualitative and quantitative methods. The research team selected Boston and Nashville as peer regions to further contextualize quantitative findings.
Researchers found that Pittsburgh has a sizable share of STF employment relative to the United States and to Nashville. However, additional investments and changes to policy can safeguard the region's strengths and support Pittsburgh as a flourishing science and technology hub. Recommendations include improving market conditions to support expansion of the STF workforce; supporting and engaging communities of color and other locally underrepresented groups; building out regionally relevant, data-backed career pathways; and crafting and implementing a regional STF strategy.
Pittsburgh's STF Ecosystem: Recent Past and Present
Planning for the Future
Future-Proofing Pittsburgh's STF Workforce Ecosystem: Opportunities, Challenges, and Recommendations
Definition and Characteristics of the STF Workforce
Analysis of Labor Data
Education and Training Landscape Scan
Analysis of Economic Spillovers
Focus Groups with STF Workforce Ecosystem Stakeholders
Literature Review of Factors Influencing the STF Career Decisionmaking Process
Recommendations, Example Extant Efforts, and Implementation Factors
This study was supported by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The research was conducted within the RAND Lowy Family Middle-Class Pathways Center, a part of RAND Education and Labor.
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