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What level of education do parents of recent bachelor’s graduates have?

Notes:
Advanced degree = graduate degree (master’s, doctorate) or first-professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM, OD, PsyD).
Other race/ethnicity includes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, and non-Hispanic graduates with origins in two or more races.
Source:
US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008–09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/09): First Look, Table 2 (July 2011, NCES 2011-236), http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011236.pdf
Notes:
Advanced degree = graduate degree (master’s, doctorate) or first-professional degree (e.g., MD, DDS, DVM, OD, PsyD).
Other S&T = Other science and technology. Includes biological sciences, physical sciences, agricultural sciences, and science technology.
Other applied fields include architecture, communications, public administration and human services, design and applied arts, law and legal studies, library sciences, theology and religious vocations.
Source:
US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2008–09 Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (B&B:08/09): First Look, Table 2 (July 2011, NCES 2011-236), http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011236.pdf

Main Finding

A majority (56%) of bachelor’s graduates in academic year 2007/08 have at least one parent who earned a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Male graduates are more likely than female graduates to have a parent with a bachelor’s or advanced degree. College degrees are also more common among parents of Asian and white graduates than among parents of Hispanic and black graduates.

More than 6 in 10 bachelor’s degree recipients who graduated with a science, engineering, or technology major in academic year 2007/08 have a parent who earned at least a bachelor's degree. More than 3 in 10 have a parent with an advanced degree.

Key Observations

  • Approximately 6 in 10 male bachelor’s graduates in academic year 2007/08, compared to around 5 in 10 female graduates, have a parent who earned at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • A third of male graduates and 28% of female graduates have a parent with an advanced degree.
  • About 6 in 10 Asian and white graduates have a parent who earned at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to fewer than 4 in 10 Hispanic and black graduates.
  • About 36% of Asian graduates and 32% of white graduates have a parent with an advanced degree, compared to 20% of both Hispanic and black graduates.
  • About two-thirds of graduates in engineering (66%), mathematics/other S&T (65%), and humanities (67%) have a parent who attained at least a bachelor's degree, as is also the case for 60% of graduates in social sciences/ psychology.
  • Less than half of bachelor’s graduates in computer/information sciences and health care fields (44% each) have a parent who earned a bachelor’s or higher-level degree.
  • Advanced degrees are more common among parents of bachelor’s graduates in humanities (39%), mathematics/other S&T (38%), and social sciences/psychology (36%) than among parents of bachelor’s graduates in other fields.
STEM Education Data and Trends 2014
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