This research brief uses nationally representative data from the 2012/17 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:12/17) to examine post-college transitions of US undergraduates into the skilled technical workforce (STW), defined here as workers in a collection of occupations that require significant levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree for entry. Thus far, empirical research on the STW has been limited by a dearth of data; however, based on newly available data from BPS:12/17, the findings in this report indicate that STW employment provides workers with above-median salaries, more equitable wages, a variety of benefits, and clear career paths. STW jobs attract diverse populations, especially those from underrepresented groups (e.g., Hispanics, individuals from low-income backgrounds, and those whose parents do not have college education). US community colleges and sub-baccalaureate programs play a large role in developing the STW.
Entering the skilled technical workforce after college
By Xianglei Chen, Susan Rotermund.
April 2020 Open Access Peer Reviewed
Chen, X., & Rotermund, S. (2020). Entering the skilled technical workforce after college. RTI Press. RTI Press Publication No. RB-0024-2004 https://doi.org/10.3768/rtipress.2020.rb.0024.2004