STEM Springboard

STEM Springboard: new STEM grads get ahead

New college graduates with degrees in STEM fields have bucked a national trend. While too many of their peers graduate with heavy debt and scant job prospects, new graduates with degrees in STEM face a much brighter future. Not only are they more likely to land jobs, the jobs they land require higher skills, and they pay more.

Change the Equation’s analysis of Census Bureau data reveals stark differences in jobless rates between STEM and non-STEM graduates:


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Recent STEM graduates are also less likely to be under-employed. Those with bachelor’s degrees are much more likely to work in jobs that actually require a bachelor’s degree:

It is not clear that everyone with a degree in STEM actually gets a job in STEM, but these data strongly suggest that STEM degrees are marketable across the economy. STEM degree holders are more likely to land jobs that require more education, because employers in fields as diverse as finance, law, and marketing value their skills.

Employers also pay for those skills. For example, graduates with degrees in fields like engineering and computer science enjoy some of the highest salaries right out of college. Admittedly, not every STEM job is created equal, at least as far as salaries are concerned. The average new graduate with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics did not earn as much as his or her peers in other fields.

Yet the overall message is still quite simple: for most young people, it pays to study STEM.

Read about our sources and methodology.

Download and share the individual data points:

New STEM grads get ahead: JPG

STEM opens doors: JPG

Health care, engineering grads did best: JPG

Recent STEM grads are marketable and in demand: JPG

Most new STEM graduates earn more: JPG

Also, be sure to check out our new Top Cities for STEM lists!

Top 5 U.S. Cities for Women in Computer Science