STEM Career Choices and Degrees

Indicator 19:  STEM Career Choices and Degrees


How Does Massachusetts Perform?

Indicator 19:  STEM Career Choices and Degrees

Massachusetts leads the LTS in degrees (graduate & undergraduate) granted in STEM fields per one million residents (2,877) a figure 29.1% greater than the second state, Rhode Island. Among the STEM fields, engineering and biological & biomedical science are the most popular majors, together comprising 62.9% of STEM degrees granted in Massachusetts; this compared with 59.1% on average in the LTS. Computer and Information Sciences was the third most popular degree granted in STEM, accounting for 21.4% in Massachusetts and 24.6% on average in the LTS. Degrees granted in STEM fields to non-permanent residents in Massachusetts rose in all fields except for Engineering Technologies and Engineering Related Fields, where it fell slightly over the period from 2006-2015. Total STEM degrees granted from 2006 to 2015 in Massachusetts rose by 54.4%.

Foreign students attracted to the Commonwealth’s high quality universities and colleges are an important source of STEM talent for Massachusetts’ companies and research institutions. Graduate degrees granted in Science and Engineering (S&E) to temporary, non-permanent residents reached a 10-year peak in 2015 at 42.6%. Undergraduate S&E degrees conferred to temporary, non-permanent residents matched a ten-year peak in 2015 (7.8%). However, these are comparably small numbers with Massachusetts’ institutions granting 183 additional undergraduate degrees to foreign students in S&E in 2015, for a total of 925. This is in contrast to the 3,002 graduate S&E degrees granted to foreign students in 2015, which increased by 391 between 2014 and 2015.