Nearshore Americas

Majority of STEM Graduates Do Not Find Work in Their Chosen Fields

Nearly 74% of those who have a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering and math — commonly referred to as STEM — are not employed in these fields, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Unemployment is relatively low among STEM graduates and have they above average chances of landing jobs, but they don’t often find work in the subjects they studied.

Very few science majors are currently working in STEM fields. According to the study, engineering and computer, math and statistics majors had the largest share of graduates going into a STEM field, with about half employed in a STEM occupation.

About 26% of physical science majors, 15% of biological, environmental and agricultural sciences majors, 10% of psychology majors and 7 % of social science majors are employed in STEM fields.

Another notable trend is that men are over-represented in STEM, especially in computer and engineering occupations. About 86% of engineers and 74% of computer professionals are men.

This is surprising because many reputed engineering schools, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology, have increased female enrollment in recent years.

However, representation of women was higher among mathematicians and statisticians (45%), life scientists (47%) and social scientists (63%).

While men made up a large chunk of employees in non-STEM management occupations (3.8 million), female college graduates (4.3 million) were found dominating education occupations.

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The states with the largest percentage of STEM workers are Maryland (18.8%) Washington (18.3%) and Virginia (16.5%).

STEM includes computer and mathematical occupations, engineers, engineering technicians, life scientists, physical scientists, social scientists, science technicians, and STEM managers. Other STEM-related occupations include architects, healthcare practitioners, healthcare managers, and healthcare technicians.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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