clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why most STEM majors don't have STEM jobs

Here's a chart from the Census Bureau that breaks down the stylized fact that most science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors in America don't have jobs in STEM fields:


From STEM majors to STEM jobs (Census)

The chart is a valuable reminder that the debate about the alleged STEM shortage is shot through with definitional problems. For starters, the Census doesn't count health care jobs as STEM jobs even though one certainly hopes all these doctors running around America know something about science. This is especially noteworthy, because the leakage from STEM majors to STEM jobs seems very pronounced in the life sciences.

When you narrow your gaze to engineering, computer, math, and statistics majors you do see a very large share of graduates heading into computer or engineering gigs.

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.