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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, by gender

Question:
What information do you have on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the U.S. by gender?

Response:

Secondary education: STEM

In 2009, compared to males, lower percentages of female high school graduates reported that they liked mathematics or science and that mathematics or science was one of their favorite subjects.

In addition, 50 percent of male high school graduates said that mathematics was one of their favorite subjects, compared to 43 percent of female high school graduates. Similarly, in 2009, higher percentages of males reported that they liked science or that science was a favorite subject.

Variation existed in the percentages of male and female 2009 high school graduates who earned credits for STEM courses. Compared to males, higher percentages of females earned credits in algebra II, precalculus, advanced biology, chemistry, and health science/technologies. However, higher percentages of males earned credits in physics, engineering, engineering/science technologies, and computer/information science.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education Statistics.(2015). Statistics in Brief: Gender Differences in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Interest, Credits Earned, and NAEP Performance in the 12th Grade (NCES 2015-075).

Postsecondary education: STEM degrees

Young adults with bachelor's or higher degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) tend to have more positive economic outcomes, such as higher median earnings, than those with degrees in non-STEM fields.1

Overall, a higher percentage of bachelor's degrees were awarded to females than to males in 2013–14 (57 vs. 43 percent). However, in STEM fields, a lower percentage of bachelor's degrees were awarded to females than to males (35 vs. 65 percent). This pattern—in which females received higher percentages of bachelor's degrees overall, but lower percentages of bachelor's degrees in STEM fields—was observed across all racial/ethnic groups. While the percentage of STEM bachelor's degrees awarded to White females (33 percent) was lower than the percentage awarded to females overall (35 percent), the percentages awarded to females within each of the other racial/ethnic groups were higher than the percentage awarded to females overall. The gap between the percentage of STEM bachelor's degrees awarded to males versus females was largest for White students (34 percentage points) and narrowest for Black students (12 percentage points).

1 Ross, T., Kena, G., Rathbun, A., KewalRamani, A., Zhang, J., Kristapovich, P., and Manning, E. (2012). Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study (NCES 2012-046). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 6, 2017, from https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2012046.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, Indicator 24: STEM Degrees (NCES 2017-051).

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