Bachelor Degrees Granted in STEM and non-STEM Disciplines by Gender

Rebecca Carr
Association of American Universities (AAU) Data Exchange
I have been working on a project that looks at the change in number and proportion of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.  This chart uses data from IPEDS Completions to evaluate gender distribution over time and by major field (STEM, non-STEM). The display has four quadrants.  The two on the left show the raw number of bachelor degree recipients by year and field.  The two on the right show the overall distribution by gender with a reference line at 50 percent.
I used the list of fields designated as STEM from Immigration and Customs Enforcement; that list is used to determine whether students can extend their time in the U.S. or not and thus has very practical applications.  Because I know my audience, I used pink and blue to represent gender and did not present a legend.  If I were creating this for a more generic audience, I’d have used a legend.
This chart makes four main points: (1) there are considerably more bachelor degrees granted in non-STEM fields than in STEM fields, (2) the number of bachelor degrees granted has grown over time, and (3) women are over-represented among bachelor degree recipients in non-STEM fields, but quite under-represented among bachelor degree recipients in STEM fields, and (4) the proportion of degrees earned by women remains fairly constant.



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