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US Students Not Getting Degrees that Industry Needs

48% of all entry-level jobs requiring a bachelor's degree or higher are in STEM fields, while only 29% of bachelor's degree graduates earn a STEM degree.

U.S. manufacturing and related sectors have a long way to go to achieve President Obama's goal of training Americans with the “skills employers need and matching them to good jobs that need to be filled right now,” according to a report from Burning Glass Technologies.

The report, titled "Real-Time Insight into the Market for Entry-Level STEM Jobs," shows that U.S. students are not receiving the degrees and training required to fill today's entry-level jobs in fields related to STEM education—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Among the study's findings:

  • 48% of all entry-level jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher (BA+) are in STEM fields, while only 29% of bachelor’s degree graduates earn a STEM degree.
  • At the sub-bachelor’s level (sub-BA), 24% of entry-level jobs are in STEM fields, while 33% of sub-BA degrees are in STEM concentrations.  (Note: Sub-BA refers to associates degree or certificate.) 
  • In 2013, there were 2.3 million entry-level postings in STEM fields. 1.3 million were for BA+ jobs, and 1.0 million were for sub-BA jobs.
  • STEM jobs offer a substantial salary premium. The advertised salary for entry-level STEM jobs requiring a BA or higher is $66,123, compared to $52,299 for non-STEM jobs. This difference of approximately $14,000 represents a 26% premium. At the sub-BA level, the average entry-level salary is $47,856 for STEM jobs and $37,424 for non-STEM jobs. This difference of over $10,000 represents a 28% premium.

 Read more about what need to be done to close the training gap in IndustryWeek.

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