CCAP is introducing a new weekly feature called “Chart of the Week.” Every week we will post an interesting chart related to higher education along with a brief commentary. These charts will also be featured on our new website centerforcollegeaffordability.org, where you can view past charts of the week as well. Below is this week’s chart.
On an annualized basis, growth in bachelor degrees awarded in the STEM disciplines has kept pace with degrees awarded in the non-STEM disciplines. This indicates that the percentage of students graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math has remained relatively constant over the past three decades.
This means that colleges have consistently turned out the same number of STEM graduated relative to non-stem graduates. Consequently, perceived shortages of qualified personnel for STEM jobs is most likely a case of increased demand rather than a relative decline in supply.