RALEIGH – So is the Triangle really the hot bed for STEM-related jobs that a new study says?

Yes, says North Carolina State University economist and author Dr. Mike Walden.

WRAL TechWire reached out to Walden for reaction to the story we published Tuesday about the study from 24/7 Wall Street that found high-tech workers make up more than 10 percent of the labor force in the metro areas of Durham-Chapel Hill and Raleigh. That percentage is good enough to rank each  among the top 15 metro areas for STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) employment

“I agree with this analysis,” Walden said.

“In fact, it can be argued that the Triangle (Raleigh and Durham metro areas) was part of the birthplace of the tech sector, along with Boston and Silicon Valley.

Study: Durham-CH, Raleigh crack top 10 for highest percentage of tech jobs in workforce

“Like those two regions, the Triangle has an automatic ‘feeder’ of expansion with our great universities and training of new tech workers.”

Walden has written extensively about the evolving North Carolina economy with two books, one of which that forecasts where technology development is taking the state in coming years. (“North Carolina in the Connected Age,” “North Carolina Beyond the Connected Age” are the books.)

Durham-Chapel Hill came in fifth and Raleigh eighth. The new study came after a Wall Street Journal analysis of jobs last week found Raleigh as the No. 6 “hottest” for jobs. And another report from the NC technology Association says that demand for high-tech talent is very strong in both Triangle metros with more than 20,000 open high-tech jobs across the state.

However, not all is rosy with the economy and STEM potential, Walden warned.

“Although I see the tech sector continuing to be a major driver of the economy in future decades, I do see one challenge.  It is that the specific jobs and occupations in tech will continue to turnover and change,” he explained.

“So the tasks and training needed for tech sector jobs may be very different in the future.”