Today's students are flocking to STEM fields, according to a new study.
Researchers from Careerbuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International (ESMI) analyzed data from the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics on degrees awarded from AY 2010-2014.
Demand for college degrees has leveled off, according to researchers. The total number of degrees awarded rose less than 1% in the last two years tracked. That is a big drop from 2010's boom, when the number of degrees rose 8.9%.
Researchers identified the 10 fastest-growing degree programs between 2010-2014:
- Science technologies (+49%)
- Natural resources and conservation (+45%)
- Parks, recreation, fitness, and leisure (+44%)
- Interdisciplinary studies (+36%)
- Mathematics, statistics (+35%)
- Social service and public administration (+33%)
- Computer sciences (+32%)
- Precision production (+30%)
- Law enforcement, homeland security, and related services (+27%)
- Engineering (+26%)
Researchers also identified the nine degree programs that declined most between 2010-2014:
- Military technologies (-30%)
- Library science (-17%)
- Education (-9%)
- History (-8%)
- Construction (-5%)
- Philosophy, religious studies (-3%)
- English language, literature (-2%)
- Foreign language, literature, linguistics (-2%)
- Architecture (-1%)
CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson called the trend toward STEM "encouraging." But he also acknowledged the "slowdown in overall degree completions—especially those tied to developing strong communications and critical thinking skills—is concerning" (Hinz, Crain's Chicago Business, 9/8; CareerBuilder release, 9/3).
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