STEM: The Diplomas That Lead to a Bigger Paycheck

Released: 
February 16, 2013

Degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) lead to higher paychecks. Asians dominate these fields.

To what extent does a college degree mean richer paydays? The degrees associated with the highest paychecks – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or “STEM” degrees – accounted for only 10.7 percent of diplomas awarded in 2009. Whites received 57.3 percent of these promising degrees but went on to occupy 72 percent of STEM jobs; whites account for 68 percent of the U.S. workforce. Asians account for 5 percent of the U.S. workforce, but earned 9.5 percent of STEM degrees and hold 14 percent of STEM jobs. How much more of a salary do STEM degrees mean?

Click on today’s infographic to find out. Then please check out the range of opinion we’ve assembled for you under “What Do Others Say?” What do you think? What should a college education mean today – financially and otherwise?