By Meera Jagannathan for MarketWatch
Some kids who immigrate to the U.S. are more likely than U.S.-born children to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) majors in college, according to a new study from Duke University and Stanford University researchers.
In fact, 36% of immigrants who come to America after age 10 and who emigrate from nations whose main language is very different from English wind up majoring in STEM subjects in college, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. In contrast, around 20% of American-born college students pursue STEM majors.
Immigrants make up more than half of all Ph.D-holding STEM workers, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, and occupy “a disproportionate share of jobs” in U.S. STEM occupations. Their numbers have only grown over time: The share of foreign-born workers in STEM occupations doubled from 1990 to 2015, per the American Immigration Council, rising from 11.9% to 24.3%.