Preparing for the STEM Workforce
“The Science and Engineering (S&E) workforce has grown faster over time than the overall workforce. According to Census Bureau data, employment in S&E occupations grew from about 1.1 million in 1960 to about 6.7 million in 2015. This represents an average annual growth rate of 3%, compared to a 2% growth rate in total employment during this period. S&E occupational employment as a share of total employment doubled, from about 2% in 1960 to about 4% in 2015. “
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) occupational projections for the period 2014–2024 suggest that total employment in occupations that National Science Foundation classifies as S&E will increase at a faster rate (11%) than employment in all occupations. These projections are based only on the demand for narrowly defined S&E occupations and do not include the wider range of occupations in which S&E degree holders often use their training.
S&E occupations are projected to represent nearly one-third (30%) of current employment in 2014, which is similar to the proportion of job openings in all occupations (31%) Of the BLS-projected net job openings in NSF-identified S&E occupations, the majority (57%) are projected to be in computer and mathematical sciences occupations, the largest subcategory of S&E occupations. This occupational group also has the largest projected growth rate (15%) among NSF-identified S&E groups. Engineering occupations, the second largest subcategory of S&E occupations, are expected to generate about one fourth (27%) of all job openings in S&E occupations during the period 2014-24.