New study suggests that immigrant children are more likely to pursue STEM majors in college

Jan. 10, 2019

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.

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%.

To learn more, read "Why some immigrant kids are more likely to pursue STEM majors" from MarketWatch.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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