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Degree Attainment

Bachelor’s Degrees to Women

Fewer engineering and computer/information sciences bachelor’s degrees are awarded to women as compared to men. Overall, interest in these fields has grown, with more than 230,000 bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer/ information sciences awarded in the 2018-2019 academic year. Although in the past the percentage of females earning degrees has remained relatively unchanged, in the 2018-2019 academic year, women now represent about 21% of the bachelor’s degree holders in these fields.

Bachelors Degrees to

Top 10 Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees, Female, 2020
Source: ASEE. (2021). Profiles of Engineering  and Engineering Technology.

  1. Mechanical Engineering
  2. Computer Science
  3. Chemical Engineering
  4. Biomedical Engineering
  5. Civil Engineering
  6. Industrial/Manufacturing/Systems Engineering
  7. Electrical Engineering
  8. Computer Engineering
  9. Electrical/Computer Engineering
  10. Aerospace Engineering

Advanced Degrees Earned by Women

STEM degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels have also increased among men and women, with female students earning a larger share of graduate degrees than at the bachelor’s level. However, the gender gap is still large, with only 29% of master’s degrees in engineering and computer/ information sciences awarded to women and 24% of doctoral degrees awarded to women.

Masters Degrees to

Doctoral Degrees to

 

Degree Attainment by Women of Color

Although the number of engineering degrees awarded to non-international women at all postsecondary educational levels in the U.S. has increased from the 2017-18 to 2019-20 academic years, the majority of these are earned by White women. In the 2017-18 academic year, women of color, such as Latinas and Black women, represented about 18.8% of the female bachelor’s degree holders in engineering.

Degree Attainment Women of Color

Over the past ten years, Black and Latina women comprised less than 4% of the bachelor’s degree holders in engineering and less than 5% of the bachelor’s degree holders in computer science. While Black women have constantly represented about 1% of the engineering bachelor’s degree holders in the last several years, their representation among computer science bachelor’s degree holders has been on a decline since 2003 and stagnated at around 2.35%.

title Degree Attainment - degree attainment
Note: For this graph, women of color include Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina only.

 

SWE Efforts to Increase Female Attainment of Engineering Degrees

SWE has a strong network of collegiate members across the country.


Additional Resources