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A Portrait of STEM Majors

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A new report from the U.S. Education Department delves into how young students fare when they pursue science and technology degrees in college. The report, "Students Who Study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Postsecondary Education," found that 54.9 percent of students who entered college in 1995-1996 and majored in a STEM field for some time through 2001 earned a degree or certificate, while only 50.6 percent of students who did not choose a science or technology major earned a degree or certificate. The physical sciences had a rate of 68.4 percent, followed by natural sciences at 63.5 percent and mathematics at 61.4 percent.

Of the STEM fields, computer or information sciences had the lowest rate at 46.4 percent. And less than half of the students who chose a science or technology major earned a degree in STEM. The report found that 40.7 percent received a degree or certificate in STEM, another 12 percent were still enrolled in one of those fields, but 20.6 percent had switched from STEM-related majors and 26.7 percent were no longer in college.

From Inside Higher Ed
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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