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Useful Stats: Science and engineering degrees by state

July 15, 2020
By: Sarah Holbert

The total number of science and engineering (S&E) degrees awarded grew from 520,474 in 2000 to 955,401 in 2018, an increase of 83 percent, according to National Science Foundation (NSF) data. The portion of S&E degrees awarded compared to all degrees has increased as well, from a 2000 average of 31 percent of all degrees awarded to an average of 34 percent in 2018. S&E degrees includes bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in areas such as life sciences, physical sciences and engineering.

Over the 19 years, Maryland, Vermont, Washington D.C., and Wyoming took various turns as the state with highest proportion of STEM degrees awarded.

During that time period, Washington had the greatest increase of S&E degrees relative to all degrees over time with an 11 percentage point increase (30 percent of all degrees awarded being concentrated in STEM in 2000 to 41 percent in 2018).

Other states with the largest increases in percentage points of S&E degrees to all degrees awarded include Nevada (8 percent), Connecticut (8 percent), Michigan (7 percent), Delaware (7 percent), Alaska (7 percent), Maryland (6 percent), , New Mexico (6 percent), Wisconsin (5 percent), Montana (5 percent) and New York (5 percent).

On the other hand, the states with decreasing levels of S&E degrees include Utah, with a 7.7 percentage point decrease in the amount of S&E degrees awarded compared to overall degrees (dropping from 30.1 percent to 22.4 percent), Idaho (-2.5 percentage points), Virginia (-3 percentage points), and New Hampshire (-3.5 percentage points).

Overall, the number of S&E degrees awarded each year continues to grow. SSTI has compiled a spreadsheet with the number of degrees broken down by state and year that can be accessed below.

useful stats, higher ed, stemFile S&EDegrees2000-2018.xlsx