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STEM Degree to Non-STEM Job

Many college graduates with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees have jobs outside of STEM fields, according to data presented by the US Census Bureau.

Liana Christin Landivar, a sociologist with the Census Bureau, tells the Washington Post that almost three quarters of people with a bachelor's degree in a STEM field don't have a STEM job.

The Census Bureau has a graphics linking STEM college majors to their post-college occupations. And judging by it, the majority of biological science majors in college work outside of STEM fields, as do a considerable chunk of engineering majors. Though, as Jim Austin at Science Careers notes, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't consider healthcare a STEM field. The Scientist notes that about half of healthcare workers have a biological science degree and many others have a psychology or physical science background.

But, Harvard Law School's Michael Teitelbaum argues that the STEM label is "is increasingly misleading rather than informative." He tells the Washington Post that studies have found that nearly 20 percent of jobs could be construed as STEM jobs based on the technology used, including carpenters and heating and air-conditioning technicians, and automotive technicians. These career paths, he says, require technical knowledge, though not a STEM degree.