Release of Historic Report Links STEM* Student Interests with STEM Jobs by State and Job Type

Where are the STEM students?

Washington, D.C. and Lee’s Summit, MO — A historic report linking student interest in STEM education with STEM job opportunities was released Thursday, January 14, 2013.  The new report — Where are the STEM Students? What are their Career Interests? Where are the STEM Jobs? — identifies the STEM interests of more than one million U.S. high school students interested in pursuing STEM careers, and links them to increasing demand for over 16 million STEM jobs by 2018.  It also provides in-depth profiles of more than one million students interested in STEM majors and careers with breakouts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The report is also designed to motivate students interested in STEM careers by providing a breakdown of “hot” STEM jobs, salary figures, and a projection of the future STEM job market.

STEMconnector® and My College Options® will host a Town Hall discussion on the Report and officially release the publication on January 30, 2013 at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) headquarters in Washington, D.C. at 3:00 pm EST. The event will also be hosted online via WebEx.  To register, please visit (http://stemconnector.org/townhall). Digital and printed versions of the report will be available for purchase online at the STEMconnector® website beginning January 14th. My College Options Vice-President, Ryan Munce, notes, “The career interests and demographic profile of over one million students interested in STEM is a critical piece of information for the STEM pipeline.” Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector®, concludes, “STEM jobs are among the highest paying and fastest growing in the United States; we must know where the jobs are and excite and encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and careers, armed with skill sets to fill and grow where the jobs are.”

Highlights of the STEM Student/Jobs Report

Where are the STEM Students? The report documents how STEM interest has been continually rising in high-school students since 2004, and an astounding 25% of all high-school students currently have an interest in STEM majors and careers.  Since the graduating class of 2004, overall interest in STEM majors and careers among high school seniors has increased by over 20%. Arguably the most concerning trend with students interested in STEM is the increasing gender-gap. Nationally, about 14.5% of female students express interest in STEM as compared to 39.6% for their male counterparts.  Since 2011, interest in STEM courses has grown and is projected to continue rising for Asian, Hispanic, American Indian and White students. The Southern region of the U.S. has the highest concentration (36%) of students interested in STEM topics.

What are their Career Interests by STEM Discipline? In 2012, Mechanical Engineering (20.4%) was the most popular major or career choice among STEM-interested students, while Biology was second at 11.9%.  American Indian students are the most likely to be interested in Engineering compared to students of other ethnic groups.  Female students are significantly more likely to be interested in the STEM majors/careers of Biology, Chemistry, Marine Biology and Science. Engineering and Technology interest are on the rise, while interest in Science and Mathematics has decreased over the past few years.

Where are the STEM Jobs? In 2012, the U.S. STEM workforce surpassed 7.4 million workers and it is expected to grow significantly through 2018 to an estimated 8.65 million workers. These numbers (7.4 million and 8.65 million) don’t reflect people who are “self employed” in STEM fields. If “self employed” is included, the number of people employed in STEM fields in 2012 was 14.9 million, and is projected to reach 15.68 million by 2018.

Types of STEM Jobs:  In 2012, accountants and auditors comprised the largest number of STEM-related jobs in the U.S. with over 1.66 million, a number that is projected to increase to 1.78 million by 2016. Currently, the manufacturing sector faces a large shortage of employees with STEM skills. Alarmingly, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled in spite of current economic conditions.

New STEM Job Areas:  Between 2011 and 2015, an estimated 1.7 million jobs will be created in cloud computing in North America. Another noteworthy increase in STEM jobs has come courtesy of mobile application (“apps”) technology, which has fostered an estimated 311,000 jobs in the “app economy.” By 2018, the bulk of STEM jobs will be in Computing (71%) followed by traditional Engineering (16%), Physical Sciences (7%), Life Sciences (4%) and Mathematics (2%).

Data & Sources

The student data used in this report is drawn primarily from My College Options’ annual survey of 5.5 million high school students, which covers 95% of U.S. high schools. The data for the STEM employment outlook and projections comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), and was compiled by The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America (ASTRA). The report was made possible through the generous support of Cisco.

Official Town Hall Release

STEMconnector® and My College Options® will host a Town Hall Conference to discuss the report and officially release the publication on January 30, 2013 at the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The STEMconnector® and My College Options® teams will brief the audience on the importance of the report, key findings, and the context of the report within the U.S. STEM workforce pipeline. The Town Hall will close with a Q & A session where participants are encouraged to ask questions about the report. Please register for the free event online.

About STEMconnector®

STEMconnector® is the giant STEM information and consultancy resource and collaborator. With more than 5,000 STEM stakeholders’ profiles, STEMconnector®’s purpose is to describe and profile the STEM Education activities of organizations and government agencies. Organizational profiles are under major categories that include: Business, government, associations, youth, diversity, women and education. Major subject areas are available and cross-referenced. STEM profiles can be updated by users, and the site includes a searchable database. The STEMconnector® database has given the STEM community a significant resource and a tool to establish partnerships across a broad cross section of STEM organizations through its zip search function.  STEMconnector® also increases connectivity in regions by fostering relationships at the state and local levels. The site is a growing resource with subject areas added and updated regularly. STEMdaily®, STEM Results™, STEM publications, a STEMconnector® Blog and social media are key features.

About My College Options®

My College Options® is the nation’s largest college planning program, operated by the National Research Center for College & University Admissions™ (NRCCUA®), a non-profit educational research organization founded in 1972. This free, online community offers assisance to students, parents, high schools, counselors and educators, nationwide, by exploring a wide range of post-secondary opportunities with special emphasis on the college search process.

*  STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

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4 Responses to “Release of Historic Report Links STEM* Student Interests with STEM Jobs by State and Job Type”

  1. Nayan Patel
    February 1, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for your blog and posts. This topic hits dear to me as I also struggled to find my way to College and a proper career. I like that you ask the right questions that matter to high school students. Best of all, I love the fact you do this for free!

    Reading highlights of the Important Report of STEM that will be published soon, I noticed that you surveyed 95% High schools? Am I reading that right? How can you survey 95% of High Schools?

    I am most interested in this because currently I am struggling to help out my high school family members to find the right career. They are from India and not acquainted with American education system yet, and need some help. Turns out, their friends who are also students here have the same career guidance problem. So, frustrated with this, I engaged with state’s vocational education office, and now I want to survey schools in a wide area to understand key questions and difficulties students have when deciding a career tract – so we can help them. But I want to reach a broad population – so how did you put out such a wide survey? Please tell me in detail!

    Thanks in advance for your response!

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