Where do STEM Grads Go

This is a cool graphic of what fields various majors end up in, but I have some issues with it (of course).  I find it problematic that computers, math, and stats are lumped together.  Those are very different fields.  I would also like to see engineering broken down a bit.  Someone majoring in biomedical engineering has very different career aspirations than someone majoring in mechanical engineering.  A biomedical engineer is likely to end up in the health or education sector doing research.  I’m sure someone will use the graphic to say, see? majors in STEM don’t end up in STEM.  We don’t need anymore majors.  But the graphic says nothing about why they don’t end up in STEM.  Maybe it was their choice.  And, if you major in math and end up teaching math, you’re in the education field, which is not STEM, but I’d argue you’re still in your field.

If you look at the non-stem majors, the same story can be told.  An awful lot of people do not end up in the same field they major in.  I’d venture that most students do not major in something they expect to be employed in.  They major in something that gives them a general skill set and a solid knowledge base to work from.  It’s work experience that likely matters.  Also, the graph does not show advanced degrees.  Someone who majored in English might have had enough Computer Science to go on to a Master’s in CS.  Or someone who majored in CS might have gone on to an MBA and ended up with a business job.  Frankly, I think we need more detail here in order to really see some granularity.  While the graphic is cool and shows us something about where people end up, it’s not the whole story, I don’t think.

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