More than a Quarter of students in Illinois are studying STEM and new research findings

October 13, 2015
Students in Illinois colleges are flocking towards STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects’ stream at much higher rates than the average. According to the recent study report from the Science and Technology Coalition Illinois (ISTC).

In their most recent Innovation Index looking at condition of talent pipeline of STEM, it was found that around 28.5% of students in Illinois are taking STEM degree when compared to the 27% on average basis, which is the highest percentage in ten years. 

More than a quarter of students in Illinois colleges are studying STEM and new research findings

The number can promise well for increasing demand of jobs in STEM streams in the state, providing a sneak quick look at the population statistics of tech talent, students who are immigrants now make up around 40% many of Illinois STEM graduates from non-health care fields than what averages nationally.

The STEM graduates of Illinois have grown at 6.1% since 2004, which is above the 5.8% that averages nationally. That growth began to increase its speed after the recession period, also that the students might have drawn towards the higher pay and increasing STEM-related job market in the wake of downturn of the economy.

It was found that the 44% of those degrees are in fields that are related to health care that makes up a growth rate of 20% from the year 2011 to 2014. The highest by any subject.  When the degrees related to healthcare are removed, Illinois has a poorer STEM related grad rate of 16%.  Other non-health care fields in STEM were up which includes engineering (upto 4.2%), maths (upto 4.3%), and physical science (upto 4.7%). Agriculture has dropped by 10.2 % since 2011.

The immigrant students makes up one in every five STEM degrees from non-health care fields in Illinois, which is the highest amount in ten years and 40% more than what averages nationally. These students are concentrated in the programs for master degree that makes up the half of all the STEM master degrees from non-health care fields granted in the year 2014.

This has extensively increased the number of STEM workers with high skills,  study found that around 10. 5% of degrees under STEM are awarded in the Illinois are either professional or master degrees when compared to the 8.9% on the national average.

The study found that the increase in the STEM degrees which are awarded is met equally with the increase in the STEM jobs in the state.  IT industry has added around 8,386 jobs, the most by any field in Illinois. There has been increase in the fields like biotechnology, R&D, engineering and internet publishing.

The study also found that there is an increase in need for grads to fill the STEM jobs, these jobs require both STEM and soft skills. Chicago stands in fifth place for maximum demands for jobs.

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