African Americans who earn bachelor’s degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors can earn as much as 50 percent more than African Americans who major in programs such as art, social work. and psychology, this is according to researchers from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
The report released earlier this year concludes that African Americans are highly concentrated in the lower-paying majors and underrepresented in the majors with higher expected economic returns and the fastest growing career fields.
Florida’s implementation of high standards for all students will help create more opportunities for African American students to pursue STEM fields.
Florida’s African American students in public schools continue to rise to higher achievement levels and higher high school graduation rates. That trend should lead to students better prepared to take on the more rigorous demands of STEM programs that offer both job opportunity and economic rewards.
“It begins early,” said Hershel Lyons, Florida Department of Education K-12 chancellor. “Getting accepted into college technology and science programs means starting on the right pathway in early grades. High standards and high achievement will open these opportunities for them.”
Florida’s African American students have made tremendous progress. The graduation rate for Florida’s African American students has risen 22 percentage points since 2004. Florida leads the nation in the number of African American students passing rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
“I would say to African American parents and all parents, keep your children engaged with science and mathematics and have high expectations for them,” Lyons said. “High expectations today will lead to choices and opportunities later in life.”
To see the full Georgetown Report, click here: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.