Education Supports Racial and Ethnic Equality in STEM

Economics and Statistics Administration Issue Brief No. 05-11

11 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2011  

David N. Beede

Office of the Chief Economist, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Tiffany A. Julian

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census

Beethika Khan

National Science Foundation

Rebecca Lehrman

U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Office of the Chief Economist

George McKittrick

affiliation not provided to SSRN

David Langdon

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mark E. Doms

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Date Written: September 28, 2011

Abstract

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workers are essential to American innovation and competitiveness in an increasingly dynamic and global marketplace. In this report, we examine demographic disparities in STEM education and find that educational attainment may affect equality of opportunity in these critical, high-quality jobs of the future.

We find that regardless of race and Hispanic origin, higher college graduation rates are associated with higher shares of workers with STEM jobs. But non-Hispanic Whites and Asians are much more likely than other minority groups to have a bachelor’s degree.

Other key findings of this report include: Non-Hispanic Whites comprise the largest group of STEM workers, accounting for about seven out of ten STEM worker, which aligns closely with their share of the overall workforce; Non-Hispanic Asians are most likely (42 percent) to graduate college with a STEM degree, while the propensities of other groups are fairly similar (17-22 percent); half of all non-Hispanic Asian workers with STEM degrees have STEM jobs, compared to 30% of Hispanics and non-Hispanic Black and American Indian and Alaska Native workers; one in five STEM workers is foreign-born, of which 63 percent come from Asia; STEM workers in all demographic groups, including the foreign-born, earn more than their non-STEM counterparts. Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks receive a significantly larger STEM premium than do non-Hispanic Whites.

Keywords: STEM, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, equality, wages, education, employment, race, ethnicity

JEL Classification: J15, J24, J31, J44, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Beede, David N. and Julian, Tiffany A. and Khan, Beethika and Lehrman, Rebecca and McKittrick, George and Langdon, David and Doms, Mark E., Education Supports Racial and Ethnic Equality in STEM (September 28, 2011). Economics and Statistics Administration Issue Brief No. 05-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1934821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1934821

David N. Beede (Contact Author)

Office of the Chief Economist, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce ( email )

Room 4848 HCHB
Room 4858 HCHB
Washington, DC DC 20230
United States
2024821226 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.esa.doc.gov

Tiffany A. Julian

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

Beethika Khan

National Science Foundation ( email )

4201 Wilson Blvd.
Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230
United States
(703) 292 4669 (Phone)

Rebecca Lehrman

U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Office of the Chief Economist ( email )

Room 4848 HCHB
Washington, DC 20230
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.esa.gov

George McKittrick

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

David Langdon

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Mark E. Doms

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

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