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Accelerating the growth of Latinos with degrees or certificates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is “critical” in order to meet the nation’s workforce needs, according to Finding Your Workforce, a new report by Excelencia in Education.
However, Latinos earned only a small percentage of the certificates and degrees awarded in STEM programs in 2009–2010, and most Latinos who are in the STEM workforce are in lower-paying jobs.
There are institutions that are graduating high numbers of Latinos in those fields, though. The report reveals 25 institutions at each academic level awarding STEM certificates or degrees to Latinos.
Many of the top institutions are Hispanic-serving institutions and are located in Texas, Florida, California, Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Topping the list for two-year colleges is South Texas College (STC) in biological and biomedical sciences and EDIC College in Puerto Rico in physical sciences. San Jacinto College (SJC) in Texas awarded the highest percentage of certificates for science technologies/technicians to Latinos, while College of Southern Nevada awarded the most associate degrees to Latinos in that concentration.
STC and SJC also awarded high percentages of associate degrees to Latinos in engineering and math, respectively. The University of Phoenix awarded the most associate degrees in technology. Instituto de Banco y Comercio in Puerto Rico awarded the most certificates in technology and engineering.
Where nationally Latinos earn 8 percent of STEM certificates and degrees, the top 25 institutions conferred 47 percent of all degrees and certificates in STEM fields to Latinos.
For the U.S. to remain globally competitive, about 1 million more STEM professionals must be produced over the next decade than are currently projected to graduate, according to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
“Given Hispanics are projected to account for 75 percent of the growth in the nation’s labor force between 2010 and 2020, Latinos completing certificates and degrees in STEM fields will be vital to meeting the national STEM college completion goal,” the report says.
This is Excelencia’s third report in a series linking college completion and the workforce.
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