Best Job Markets for Immigrants in the U.S.

The best opportunities for skilled immigrants in the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields such as computer engineering and related high technology jobs are on the West coast in Portland, Oregon and at other major hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley. One of the major software company Microsoft is headquartered in Seattle in Washington, while Mentor Graphics is headquartered at Wilsonville in Oregon.  The corporate offices of E-Bay are at San Jose in California and Amazon’s corporate offices are located at Seattle in Washington. Dominant search engine company Google has an entire complex of buildings at its corporate headquarters, Googleplex located at Mountainview in California.  Google is reputed to treat employees especially well, as a virtual tour of the complex implies.

E-Bay Headquarters at San Jose, California


Austin, Texas is also an emerging high-tech job market. Traditionally, the high-tech market has been dominated by Intel and others located primarily on the West coast.  According to the U.S. News and World Report: Money, “Technology is one of the most pervasive forces in our society today […and] it is expected to be one of the fastest growing fields between 2012 and 2022.” The best opportunities exist for trained engineers and specialists in such categories as software developers, web developers, IT managers, computer programmers, and technical writers.  In contradistinction to what critics claim, such immigrants do not cause job losses for U.S. workers.  As the article “Immigrant High-Tech Workers Not Costing US Jobs” in the January, 2014 issue of Forbes magazine points out, “In 2008, immigrants represented 16% of the US work force with a bachelor’s education […while in] jobs closely linked to technology and innovation, the share of immigrants was even higher, closer to 24 percent.”

Googleplex at Mountainview, California


Other areas in the US opportune for finding STEM jobs are on the East coast and in the mid-West.  For instance, social networking technology company Facebook has been so successful that it recently expanded its New York offices and is headquartered in Menlo Park, California.  Other high-tech possibilities include Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Boulder, Colorado; Binghamton, New York; Phoenix, Arizona; Boston, Massachusetts; and Boise, Idaho.

Manufacturing is another area where plentiful job opportunities exist.  In his article “America’s New Manufacturing Boomtowns” in the mid-2013 “America Works” section of Forbes, Joel Kotkin contends that America has “experienced something of an industrial renaissance [… and] the economy has added over 330,000 manufacturing jobs since 2010.”  He adds Nashville, Tennessee and Salt Lake City, Utah to the list of cities subsequently top ranked in 2014 by Forbes.  Kotkin credits Houston’s and Oklahoma City’s response to the “booming energy industry” as responsible for the increase in jobs in metal fabrication, machinery and chemicals.  In addition, the reviving automobile industry has led to growth in Detroit, Michigan. According to Forbes’ current rankings, the ten top prospects for finding manufacturing jobs as based on the financial growth rates in that field are Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Milwaukie, Wisconsin; Seattle, Washington; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Detroit, Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Hartford, Connecticut; Sacramento, California; and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


As the 2014 “Money” section in US News and World Report indicates, for health care professionals the ten top job opportunities exist in dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, phlebotomy, and physician services.  The ten top ranked cities for finding many of these jobs are Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Milwaukie, Wisconsin; Denver, Colorado; Fargo, North Dakota; New York City, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and Norfolk, Virginia.  There are many factors that contribute to these rankings including availability of federal and National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants as well as proximity to other allied facilities.  Such facilities at Norfolk, Virginia are the US Naval Base, the Veterans Administration Hospital, as well as major medical and research centers including Sentara Norfolk General Hospital that is top ranked according to the 2014 report of the US News and World Report.

Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Harbor

Agriculture also offers a range of possibilities for employment throughout the U.S.  Agribusinesses attract students from biological sciences and allied disciplines who want professional careers at the more theoretical level.  The Coalition for a Sustainable Agricultural Workforce represents companies such as General Mills, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and Cargill that claim experiencing difficulty over attracting employees for these skilled positions. However, the range of jobs available in the industry includes positions for farm workers, horticulturists, agricultural equipment operators, bookkeepers, truck drivers, food packers and packagers, as well as agricultural and natural resource communications specialists. The best agricultural job markets are ascribed to be in California, Texas, and parts of the Midwest and South.  However, North Carolina is the nation’s most diversified agricultural state, produces over eighty different commodities, and established its historical reputation as the nation’s foremost tobacco producer.  A useful resource for information is the North Carolina Agricultural Review.

Tobacco Plants in North Carolina


Honor Vallor
Honor emigrated from England to the United States in the nineteen sixties. She has visited and lived in several countries including the British Isles, Spain, and Morocco. She has an M.A. in English from Portland State University and is a career educator as well as contracted writer. She serves on several academic committees including the Professional Ethics Committee for the Marylhurst University Chapter of the Association of American University Professors. In addition, she offers workshops for non-profit centers and public libraries.


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