A recent U.S. Census Bureau report says only about 26 percent of those who graduate with a four-year degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) subject end up working in a STEM field. However, this percentage was closer to 50 percent for those in computer science and engineering.
STEM graduates working outside of the STEM field largely find careers as managers of non-STEM businesses, educators, business and finance professionals, and office support workers. Georgetown University professor Lindsay Lowell, one of the report's authors, says the results are consistent with those of an earlier Economic Policy Institute study, which found the annual supply of STEM graduates exceeds the number of available STEM jobs in a given year by two to one, depending on the specific field. The Worklife Program's Michael Teitelbaum says the report is more evidence there is no shortage of STEM workers in the U.S.
However, Brookings Institution fellow Jonathan T. Rothwell says the Census study fails to account for the role STEM-trained workers play. Rothwell says many STEM majors end up working in some kind of managerial capacity, which he says is "the natural outgrowth of success in their field."
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