Science and Engineering

Science and engineering workforces are essential for our economy to prosper and to address the major global challenges: security, climate change and world health. But the engineering and science occupations make up only a fraction of the U.S. workforce.

Economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical preeminence in science and technology.—President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Work-force)

At the same time, a 2013 Teens and Career Survey by Junior Achievement USA found a 15% decrease in the number of teens interested in careers in STEM from 2012. The study attributed the decline to a lack of awareness among teens around the important career opportunities in these sectors. 

Gender and ethnic diversity, which fosters a creative, innovative and productive workplace, is severely lacking in the fields of engineering and science. According to the 2012 American Community Survey of employed civilians 25-64:

  • In a total U.S. workforce that is split 50% male/50% female, women make
    up only 14% of occupied engineers, and 38% of physical scientists.
  • Black/African Americans comprise 8% workforce total, but represent
    only 4% of all Engineers and 4% of Physical and Life Scientists.

Construction

Construction is an umbrella industry that provides employment for a variety of skills, from laborer to senior executive of a large construction company. Whether students are on a college prep track or considering a trade, the construction industry is projected to remain a strong source of employment well into the next decade

  • The market for construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. (U.S. Bureau of
    Labor Statistics)

Architecture

There are approximately 110,000 registered architects in the U.S.(2016 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards), a sliver of the U.S. workforce despite the magnitude of their work and its impact on society. In 2014-2015, 17,000 combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees were conferred in architecture, less than 1% of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees conferred that year (National Center for Educational Statistics).

  • Similar to engineering and science, the architecture industry suffers from a lack of diversity, with women representing only 24% of working architects age 25-64, and Black/African Americans representing a mere 3% of the industry.