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Our Problem

Student looking through a microscope at a laboratory
Student looking through a microscope at a laboratory

Higher Education

  • Nearly 40 percent of students who start with a STEM major do not graduate with one.¹
  • In 2009, women (age 25 and older) held only 13 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering fields.²
  • Of the 15 Major categories, Engineering has the highest median earnings, yet less than 20% of students choose a STEM path.³

International Comparisons

  • 29 nations: The number of industrialized nations whose high school students performed better than U.S. students in math in 2012.4
  • 22 nations: The number of industrialized nations whose high school students performed better than U.S. students in science in 2012. 5
  • In 2008, 31 percent of U.S. bachelor’s degrees were awarded in science and engineering fields. Compared to 61 percent in Japan and 51 percent in China.6

STEM Workforce

  • By 2018, 92 percent of traditional STEM jobs will be for those with at least some postsecondary education and training.¹
  • 23 percent of STEM workers are women, however women make up 48 percent of workers in all occupations.¹
  • In 2009, 12 percent of STEM workers were Black and Hispanic. But such individuals accounted for 25 percent of overall employment.7

References:
1http://cew.georgetown.edu/stem/ 2http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/acs-18.pdf 3http://cew.georgetown.edu/whatsitworth/ 4http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2012/index.asp 5http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pisa/pisa2012/index.asp6http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind12/c2/c2s4.htm 7http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/reports/documents/educationsupportsracialandethnicequalityinstem_0.pdf