Guess What? Still No STEM Crisis

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By way of our far-flung network of correspondents, we discover that there are still too many STEM graduates for STEM jobs:

Our examination of the IT labor market, guestworker flows, and the STEM education pipeline finds consistent and clear trends suggesting that the United States has more than a sufficient supply of workers available to work in STEM occupations:

  • The flow of U.S. students (citizens and permanent residents) into STEM fields has been strong over the past decade, and the number of U.S. graduates with STEM majors appears to be responsive to changes in employment levels and wages.
  • For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired into a STEM job.
  • In computer and information science and in engineering, U.S. colleges graduate 50 percent more students than are hired into those fields each year; of the computer science graduates not entering the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because IT jobs are unavailable, and 53 percent say they found better job opportunities outside of IT occupations. These responses suggest that the supply of graduates is substantially larger than the demand for them in industry.

Analyzing new data, drawing on a number of our prior analyses, and reviewing other studies of wages and employment in the STEM and IT industries, we find that industry trends are strikingly consistent:

  • Over the past decade IT employment has gradually increased, but it only recovered to its 2000–2001 peak level by the end of the decade.
  • Wages have remained flat, with real wages hovering around their late 1990s levels.

At least I’ll never run out of things to blog about. You can read the whole report here.

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