March 6 2019

Women STEM Degrees up 7.4% in Capital Region

Girls in STEM registration opens today

Fueled by gains in computer science and engineering technologies, the Capital Region’s ranks of women STEM graduates increased over the year by 7.4 percent in 2017. That year, women received 1,153 STEM degrees from the eight-county region’s traditional colleges and universities. On top of that, they received 1,221 STEM-related health profession degrees, a 0.7 percent decline from the previous year, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Girls in STEM

The growth in STEM degrees holds promise for the hundreds of girls who will participate in the seventh annual Girls in STEM at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART campus in Malta on April 13. Girls in STEM is made possible through a collaboration between AT&T, Hudson Valley Community College, Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, CEG and other local partners.

Registration opens today


 Women STEM Graduates

In 2017, the fastest-growing STEM fields among women graduates were engineering technologies, computer and information sciences and support services, engineering and biological and biomedical sciences, which grew by 50 percent, 28.4 percent, 10.4 percent and 7.3 percent, respectively. Over the year, computer and information sciences and support services added the most female degree awardees (42 to 190) and engineering technologies added the second most (31 to 328).


With a 14.8 percent year-over-year increase to 435 degrees, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) drove the region’s growth of women STEM graduates. RPI also had the greatest number of women STEM degrees, followed by the University at Albany at 290.

On top of these women STEM degrees, the two distance-learning institutions based in the region – Excelsior College and SUNY Empire State College – had an additional 156 women STEM graduates, up 38.1 percent from the previous year. Their total of women STEM-related health profession degrees declined by 1.8 percent to 1,341.


Women STEM Occupations

Throughout the region’s eight counties, more than 9,000 women work in STEM occupations, according to data from Economic Modeling Strategies Int. (EMSI).

Below are women STEM occupation highlights for occupations with 10 or more women jobs in the Capital Region.

Top 3 most women STEM Jobs:

  • Computer Systems Analysts (1,323)
  • Computer User Support Specialists (1,849)
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers (1,282)

Top 3 highest concentration of women STEM jobs:

  • Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists (64.1 percent)
  • Psychologists, All Other (63.8 percent)
  • Survey Researchers (49.1 percent)

Top 3 lowest concentration of women STEM jobs:

  • Architectural and Engineering Managers (6.7 percent)
  • Electrical Engineers (6.1 percent)
  • Mechanical Engineers (5.7 percent)

Top 3 Highest median annual earnings (both sexes):

  • Architectural and Engineering Managers ($137,635)
  • Natural Science Managers ($131,818)
  • Computer and Information Systems Managers ($128,677)

Top 3 most annual job openings (both sexes):

  • Computer Systems Analysts (322)
  • Software Developers, Applications (246)
  • Computer User Support Specialists (235)


CEG Activities

Girls in STEM is just one of several initiatives in which CEG is involved to ensure the Capital Region continues to deliver the sizeable and highly skilled workforce for which it is renowned worldwide. Other initiatives include:

Manufacturing Technology Pathways Project: Hudson Valley Community College’s new short-term, stackable credential training program, or “boot camp,” supported by part of a $250,000 KeyBank Foundation grant administered by CEG;

Certified Production Technician (CPT) Program: A new eight- to 12-week-long certificate course at Schenectady County Community College, supported by part of a $250,000 KeyBank Foundation grant administered by CEG.

Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP): A CEG program, in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), to assist local manufacturers in training incumbent workers for high-skill trades.

Business Growth Solutions (BGS): A National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center, CEG’s BGS unit can help manufacturers obtain grants for employee training initiatives.


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