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Indicators

This is a supplemental indicator. Unlike core indicators, which, for the most part, are updated yearly, supplemental indicators may only be updated periodically.

Employment of STEM College Graduates
(Last Updated: November 2015)

Of young adults ages 25 to 34 who had a bachelor's or higher degree in 2012, a higher percentage of males than of females had majored in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field (42 vs. 36 percent). The percentage of young adult STEM graduates who were employed in a STEM occupation was also higher for males than for females (49 vs. 47 percent).

This indicator examines the characteristics of young adults who had a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field in 2012. STEM fields include agriculture and natural resources, architecture, biology and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences, engineering and engineering technologies, health studies, mathematics and statistics, and physical and social sciences.


Figure 1. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's or higher degree who have a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2012

Figure 1. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's or higher degree who have a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2012



1 Includes other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
2 Includes persons reporting American Indian alone, Alaska Native alone, and persons from American Indian and/or Alaska Native tribes specified or unspecified.
NOTE: The first bachelor's degree major reported by respondents was used to classify their field of study, even though they were able to report a second bachelor's degree major and may possess advanced degrees in other fields. STEM fields, as defined here, include agriculture and natural resources, architecture, biology and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences, engineering and engineering technologies, health studies, mathematics and statistics, and physical and social sciences. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 104.60.


In 2012, about 39 percent of young adults ages 25 to 34 who had a bachelor's or higher degree had earned their first bachelor's degree in a STEM field. The percentage of young adults who had majored in a STEM field was higher for males than for females (42 vs. 36 percent), a pattern which was observed across all racial/ethnic groups except for Blacks.

Among male young adults with at least a bachelor's degree in 2012, higher percentages of Asians (70 percent), Pacific Islanders (64 percent), and young adults of Two or more races (46 percent) than of Hispanics (40 percent), Blacks (39 percent), and Whites (37 percent) had majored in a STEM field. In addition, the percentage was higher for Asians and Pacific Islanders than for young adults of Two or more races, and it was higher for Asians than for American Indians/Alaska Natives (48 percent). The percentage was also higher for Hispanics than for Whites (40 vs. 37 percent).

Among female young adults with at least a bachelor's degree in 2012, the percentage with a STEM bachelor's degree was higher for Asians (53 percent) than for young adults of Two or more races (40 percent) and Blacks (37 percent), and it was higher for young adults of Two or more races and Blacks than for Whites (33 percent), Hispanics (32 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives (29 percent). The percentage was also higher for Whites than for Hispanics.


Figure 2. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field who were employed in a STEM occupation, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2012

Figure 2. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field who were employed in a STEM occupation, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2012



1 Includes other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
2 Includes persons reporting American Indian alone, Alaska Native alone, and persons from American Indian and/or Alaska Native tribes specified or unspecified.
NOTE: The first bachelor's degree major reported by respondents was used to classify their field of study, even though they were able to report a second bachelor's degree major and may possess advanced degrees in other fields. STEM fields, as defined here, include agriculture and natural resources, architecture, biology and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences, engineering and engineering technologies, health studies, mathematics and statistics, and physical and social sciences. Aggregated occupation classifications were used to assemble the data, except that managers of STEM activities were counted as practitioners of STEM occupations instead of "Business workers/managers." Reporting standards for Pacific Islanders were not met; therefore, data for this group are not shown. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 505.31.


In 2012, about 48 percent of young adult STEM college graduates were employed in a STEM occupation. STEM occupations include computer scientists and mathematicians; engineers and architects; life, physical, and social scientists; medical professionals; and managers of STEM activities. Overall, a higher percentage of male than female STEM graduates were employed in a STEM occupation (49 vs. 47 percent); this was also true for Hispanic (40 vs. 34 percent) and Asian (64 vs. 58 percent) STEM graduates.

Among male young adult STEM graduates in 2012, higher percentages of Asians (64 percent), young adults of Two or more races (48 percent), and Whites (47 percent) than of Hispanics (40 percent) and Blacks (37 percent) were employed in a STEM occupation. The percentage was also higher for Asians than for young adults of Two or more races, Whites, and American Indians/Alaska Natives (38 percent). The same patterns were observed among female young adult STEM graduates.


Figure 3. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field who were employed, by selected occupation, race/ethnicity, and sex: 2012

Figure 3. Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 with a bachelor's degree in a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field who were employed, by selected occupation, race/ethnicity, and sex: 2012



1Includes other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.
NOTE: The first bachelor's degree major reported by respondents was used to classify their field of study, even though they were able to report a second bachelor's degree major and may possess advanced degrees in other fields. STEM fields of study, as defined here, include agriculture and natural resources, architecture, biology and biomedical sciences, computer and information sciences, engineering and engineering technologies, health studies, mathematics and statistics, and physical and social sciences. Aggregated occupation classifications were used to assemble the data, except that managers of STEM activities were counted as practitioners of STEM occupations instead of "Business workers/managers." Reporting standards for Pacific Islanders and American Indians/Alaska Natives were not met; therefore, data for these groups are not shown. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS), 2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2014, table 505.31.


In 2012, about 21 percent of young adult STEM graduates were employed as medical professionals, 19 percent as business workers or managers, 13 percent as computer scientists or mathematicians, 9 percent as engineers or architects, 9 percent as educators, and 5 percent as life, physical, or social scientists.

Among young adult STEM graduates in 2012, a higher percentage of males than of females were employed as computer scientists or mathematicians (20 vs. 6 percent) and engineers or architects (14 vs. 3 percent), while a higher percentage of females than of males were employed as medical professionals (32 vs. 10 percent). These patterns held across all racial/ethnic groups for which data were available. There was no measurable difference between the percentages of males and females who were employed as life, physical, or social scientists overall; however, the percentage was higher for females than for males among Asians (6 vs. 5 percent).

Among young adult STEM graduates in 2012, a higher percentage of males than of females were employed as business workers or managers (22 vs. 16 percent), and the same pattern was observed among Whites (23 vs. 16 percent), Blacks (24 vs. 17 percent), and Hispanics (20 vs. 16 percent). In contrast, a higher percentage of females than of males were employed as educators overall (10 vs. 7 percent), as well as among Whites (10 vs. 7 percent), Hispanics (13 vs. 7 percent), and young adults of Two or more races (14 vs. 8 percent).


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