A new report from an Ivy League school's center on education and the work force revealed encouraging post-college news for students earning an online computer science degree. Sixty-five percent of students who earn bachelor's degrees in science, engineering, technology or mathematics (STEM) make more in those occupations than those who earned master's degrees in non-STEM fields. Additionally, 47 percent of those who earn STEM bachelor's degrees earn more than PH.D's in other fields.
"STEM provides choice for people both immediately after school and at mid-career, allowing people to transition to different and oftentimes more lucrative career pathways, including management and healthcare, that provide long-term stability and excellent wages," the center's director and the report's lead author said in a statement.
The report also found that while traditional STEM jobs are expected to increase only 5 percent of all jobs by 2018, the demand for such talent is rapidly growing in other fields. In fact, out of every 100 students who earned a bachelor's degree, just 19 of them earned them in STEM fields and only eight of them work in those occupations 10 years after graduation.
According to the study, STEM is the best field for equal opportunity employment for women and minorities. However, according to the Association for Women in Science, in 2004-05, just 11,986 women earned bachelor's degrees in computer science, compared with more than 42,000 men.
In September, the White House and National Science Foundation announced a policy to allow for flexibility in research so new parents can delay grants for up to a year. The Career-Life Balance Initiative's goal is to maximize the field's current policy to facilitate scientists' reentry into their fields with minimal loss of momentum, the White House said.
According to the White House, 41 percent of Ph.D. degrees awarded in STEM goes to women, but they make up just 28 percent of the tenure-track faculty in those fields.
"Too many young women scientists and engineers get sidetracked or drop their promising careers because they find it too difficult to balance the needs of those careers and the needs of their families,” NSF Director Subra Suresh said in a statement. "This new initiative aims to change that, so that the country can benefit from the full range and diversity of its talent."