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These Five States Lead the U.S. in STEM Degrees

Bronwyn Flores, Specialist, Policy Communications, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
This month, all across the country, millions of undergraduates will walk across a stage to receive a degree. Bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects are critically important for our tech sector to thrive, but we currently face a shortfall of U.S. students studying these fields. America is projected to face a shortage of one million STEM workers by 2022.

These five states are changing that equation and leading the country in bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering, according to data from the National Science Foundation.
Vermont ranks first in the country, and the state aims to keep the lead. In 2015, the University of Vermont broke ground on its STEM Complex — a revamped center for chemistry, physics, math, statistics and computer science programs — to launch flagship research and help the institution increase its number of STEM majors by 50 percent.
Iowa State University has a long history of fostering innovation, dating back to the invention of the first electronic digital computer in the 1940s. Home to the renowned Ames Laboratory, ISU is still the only university to house a Department of Energy research lab. Now, with the world’s highest resolution, fully-immersive virtual reality lab, the university is poised to attract students in today’s hottest tech fields.
Rhode Island
Schools such as Brown University, where more than a fifth of students graduate in STEM subjects, keep the state among the top in the country.
“Massachusetts’ innovation economy is powered by a talented workforce, exceptional educational institutions, and companies at the forefront of research and development,” said Governor Charlie Baker. The state has earned recognition from CTA as a top tech state three years in a row. “This award reflects the significant investments our administration is making to connect people to skills and jobs, and the world’s most innovative companies to the workforce they need to continue growing the Commonwealth’s rich innovation ecosystem,” said Baker.
Home to Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a university with one of the highest percentages of bachelor’s degrees granted in STEM fields — Massachusetts overall narrowly lags behind Rhode Island for science and engineering degrees.
The state’s public universities are making a name for themselves in the tech sector even outside of Arizona: Arizona State University was recently ranked among the top 10 universities for alumni hired in Silicon Valley.
How many STEM degrees is your state producing? Check out CTA’s third annual Innovation Scorecard to learn how your state and the rest of the U.S. is supporting tech and innovation.