Bachelor's Degrees in Science and Engineering Conferred per 1,000 Individuals 18–24 Years Old (Degrees)
This indicator represents the extent to which a state provides bachelor's-level training in S&E fields, controlling for the size of its college-age population. The cohort 18–24 years old was chosen to approximate the age range of most students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree.
Educational attainment in an S&E field gives people greater opportunities to work in higher-paying technical jobs than are generally available to those in other fields of study. Earning a bachelor's degree in an S&E field also prepares an individual for advanced technical education. S&E fields include the physical, life, earth, ocean, atmospheric, computer, and social sciences; mathematics; engineering; and psychology. They do not include medical fields or technologies.
The number of bachelor's degrees awarded in S&E fields is an actual count provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and includes degrees from both public and private institutions. These values are reported by the state in which the degree-granting institution is located.
Estimates of the population aged 18–24 are provided by the U.S. Census Bureau based on the 2000 and 2010 Decennial Censuses and are reported by the state of residence. Each year, the Census Bureau utilizes current data on births, deaths, and migration to calculate population change since the most recent decennial census and produces time series of estimates of population. Estimates for states with smaller populations are generally less precise than estimates for states with larger populations.
A high value for this indicator may suggest the successful provision of undergraduate training in S&E fields. Student mobility after graduation is not accounted for, which may make this indicator less meaningful in predicting the qualifications of a state's future technical workforce. A state's value for this indicator may also be high when its higher education system draws a large percentage of out-of-state students, a situation that sometimes occurs in states with small resident populations and the District of Columbia. Because these are estimates, small differences in the indicator value between states or across time generally are not meaningful. Estimates for states with smaller populations are generally less precise than estimates for states with larger populations.
Data sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 and 2010 Decennial Censuses and Population Estimates Program.