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More Students Earning STEM Degrees, Report Shows


New graduates.

A study has found the prevalence of science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees increased between 2004 and 2014.

Credit: U.S. News & World Report

The prevalence of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees increased between 2004 and 2014 at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels, according to a National Student Clearinghouse report.

Although both men and women increasingly are choosing STEM degrees, "in terms of the shares of degrees earned within individual disciplines, women are gaining ground in some STEM areas, while losing ground in others," says Clearinghouse executive research director Doug Shapiro.

Overall, 40 percent of bachelor's degrees earned by men and 29 percent of those earned by women are now in STEM fields, according to the report. In addition, 58 percent of the degrees earned by men at the doctoral level and 33 percent of the degrees earned by women at the doctoral level are in STEM fields.

The biggest decrease in STEM-related bachelor's degrees was in computer science, where women earned just 18 percent of bachelor's degrees in 2014, compared to 2004 when women earned 23 percent of computer science bachelor's degrees.

"This data demonstrates the importance of tracking science and engineering degree attainment at different levels and within specific fields of study," Shapiro says.

From U.S. News & World Report
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