Indicator 19: STEM Career Choices and Degrees
How Does Massachusetts Perform?
Massachusetts leads the LTS in degrees (graduate & undergraduate) granted in STEM fields per one million residents at 3,292, a figure 24.7% higher than the second state, New Hampshire. Among STEM fields, engineering and biological & biomedical science are the most popular majors, together comprising 61.6% of STEM degrees granted in Massachusetts, while the LTS average is 56.6%. Computer and Information Sciences was the third most popular degree granted in STEM, accounting for 23.1% in Massachusetts and 27.4% on average in the LTS. Degrees granted in STEM fields to non-permanent residents in Massachusetts rose in all fields from 2012-2017 and total STEM degrees granted from 2012 to 2017 in Massachusetts rose 44.5%.
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 peak in 2017 at 48.5%. Undergraduate S&E degrees conferred to temporary, non-permanent residents also reached a new peak share at 9.6% of total undergraduate S&E degrees in 2017. However, these are comparably small numbers with Massachusetts’ institutions granting 200 additional undergraduate degrees to foreign students in S&E in 2017, for a total of 1,295. This is in comparison to the 3,929 degrees granted to foreign students in 2017, which increased by 360 between 2016 and 2017.
It is expected that the number of non-permanent residents completing degrees may slow, stagnate, or decline in 2018 due to observed declining enrollments of international students.*
Data Source for Indicator 19: College Board, ACS, NCES, IPEDS