Increasing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent in Washington communities is imperative to fill jobs, grow the economy, and close the opportunity gaps for the next generation.
In 2013, the Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1872 (E2SHB 1872), calling for the creation of the Governor’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance (the “Governor’s STEM Alliance”). Its members were to represent a broad range of business, labor, nonprofit, and educational organizations, with the role of advising the Governor on strategic planning and the formation of effective partnerships in support of the STEM education initiatives.
The STEM Alliance was charged with developing interactive dashboards and submitting an annual STEM Education Report Card to the Legislature in order to report on STEM economic and workforce trends, measure progress in improving STEM education in Washington, and communicate strategic priorities.
These data for Washington’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Talent Supply and Demand help Washington track its progress in fueling a strong and vibrant economy in the state.
The Dashboard and Report Cards have been funded since 2016 by the National Governor’s Association and Washington State Employment Security Department’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grants. Additional support from the Governor’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance, Washington Student Achievement Council, Washington STEM, and the Washington state Office of Financial Management.
The data for all of the measures, except the Advance Math Coursetaking measure, come from publicly available data sources created and maintained by other state agencies and non-profit organizations. This means that there is not consistency in reporting of student groups or availability of the data by region or organizational characteristic.
Calculation: Percentage of Washington residents indicating “yes” they have heard of the acronym STEM at the time of the survey, out of a random telephone sample of ~600 voters in the state of Washington.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of 2019, 2017, 2015, and 2013 surveys from Washington STEM and conducted by Strategies 360 (Updated March 2019)
Calculation: SAT test-takers indicating intended college major in a STEM field out of all SAT test-takers that indicated an intended college major.
What this means: Interest in STEM fields as measured by the % of WA SAT test-takers indicating intended college major has increased by approximately 13 percentage points.
Note: The SAT is typically taken by students in 11th or 12th grade. The SAT participation rate fell between 2019 and 2021 as a result of the COVID pandemic and the decision of many colleges and universities to drop the SAT as an admissions criteria.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of College Board SAT Suite of Assessments Annual Reports (Feb 2023)
Calculation: Number of students meeting standard for readiness in math on WaKIDS out of the number of students assessed for readiness in math on WaKIDS, and number of students meeting standard for math on Smarter Balanced Assessment for grades 3-8.
Note: Kindergarten readiness is measured by WaKIDS, 3-8 grade Math is measured by Smarter Balanced Assessment, and 5th and 8th grade science is measured by WCAS.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of OSPI Report Card (Feb 2023)
Calculation: Percent of students in each high school graduating class observed taking math courses beyond Algebra 2 (for example: Pre-Calculus, Calculus)
Note: Algebra 2 serves as a gatekeeping course to Calculus, which is typically a required course for students pursuing STEM degrees and careers. This data includes all types of math courses available to high school students (traditional high school courses as well as dual credit programs such as CiHS, AP/IB, and Running Start).
Source: ERDC staff analysis of OSPI Grade History, SBCTC and PCHEES Course Level Data (December 2021). SBCTC and PCHEES data used for Running Start coursework.
Calculation: Washington students completing the AP Exam and scoring a three or higher, out of all Washington students completing the AP Exam.
What this means: In nearly all STEM subjects, the percentage of Washington students scoring a 3 or higher is above the national average.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of College Board Advanced Placement State Summary Reports (November 2020; no data available for 2021)
Calculation: Awards conferred to students completing programs at all Title-IV-participating institutions in Washington State by academic year. This metric includes all public and private Title-IV institutions.
Notes: STEM and High Demand majors are designated using the ERDC crosswalk of Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes. While CIP codes are a common 2-, 4-, and 6-digit framework developed at the US Department of Education and updated every 10 years, categories such as “STEM” and “High Demand” are made by various independent groups, often reflect local or program preferences, and can change more regularly. In Washington State, High employer demand programs are identified by the institutions of higher education in consultation with the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board and the Washington Student Achievement Council.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of IPEDS data on degrees conferred (Feb 2023)
For more detail on the degrees conferred by Washington’s public baccalaureate institutions, visit the Public Four Year Dashboard.
Calculation: Demand for workers in STEM occupations (growth and replacement openings) minus the supply of students expected to enter STEM selected occupations.
What this means: There are more projected annual openings for computer scientists than there are graduates in our state prepared to fill these jobs. The gap has been growing since 2006. In the 2016 skilled and educated workforce report there were 3,900 more projected to be openings for computer scientists than prepared graduates to take those jobs.
Source: WSAC staff analysis of IPEDs and the American Community Survey, ESD, SIPP, and NSCG for the Skilled and Educated Workforce Report (Updated November 2019)
Calculation: Estimated capacity of childcare/preschool slots in each STEM region divided by the estimated demand of childcare/preschool slots (3 y/o - School Age) (2015-2020). Estimated capacity includes DCYF licensed childcare settings in addition to ECEAP and Head Start programs.
What this means: The percent of need met for child care and preschool for young children varies widely across the state.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of DCYF Child Care Need and Supply Data (Updated December 2022)
Calculation: Percent of students scoring "Proficient" or higher in mathematics on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in Grades 4 and 8.
What this means: Washington has seen steady declines in the percent of students that are proficient in mathematics in Grade 4 and Grade 8. Nearly all student groups are outperformed by thier national peers.
Note: The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) is the K12 statewide assessment required for state and federal accountability; in addition, the expectation is that all the high school ELA and math SBAs can also be used to meet a student’s high school graduation requirement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a test that is administered across the country that measures math, reading, writing, and science. Federal law requires the NAEP to be done every two years with a sample of students in 4th and 8th grade.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of NAEP Data at the Nation's Report Card (Updated Feb 2023)
Calculation: Percent of high school students enrolling in Computer Science courses (as defined by CIP or State Course Code)
What this means: The percentage of high school students in Washington who enrolled in computer science courses in 2020-21 was only 7.6%, and the percentage of low-income and underserved racial and ethnic groups was even lower.
Source: 2020-21 K-12 Computer Science Education Data Summary Report (OSPI) (Updated Dec 2022)
Additional information is available, including school and school district-level data here.
Calculation: Percent of high schools in each educational service district offering at least one course in Computer Science.
What this means: Statewide, 52.3 percent of high schools offer computer science, compared with 53 percent nationally. Availability varies widely by region; more rural parts of the state have much lower computer science availability.
Source: ERDC staff analysis of the 2020-21 K-12 Computer Science Education Data Summary Report (OSPI) (Updated Dec 2022)
Additional information is available, including school and school district-level data here.
Calculation: Percent of high school graduates that satisfy each of the Mathematics graduation pathways (note: students can satisfy multiple pathways)
Notes: Beginning with the Class of 2020, students must meet at least one pathway to graduate and consistent with the OSPI data, students can be counted as meeting multiple pathways. For more information about the pathways or graduation requirements, visit OSPI Graduation Requirements or the State Board of Education.
Source: Graduation Pathways (OSPI) (Updated December 2022)
Calculation: This chart displays the projected average annual openings over a 5-year period using the separations method, and includes projected new job openings due to growth in an occupation. The BLS separations method measures job openings created by workers who leave occupations and need to be replaced by new entrants. For more information, please visit the ESD website.
What this means: Despite the recent wave of layoffs in high profile tech companies, overall employment opportunities in information technology and STEM fields remains robust. Nationally, nine out of ten jobs in computer & information technology are in companies outside the tech sector; Washington data on IT jobs reflects this same trend. Most IT jobs are in industries such as professional and scientific services, finance and insurance, retail, healthcare and manufacturing.
Note: Washington STEM defines STEM literate jobs as those in which workers in non-R&D jobs use STEM knowledge and skills to devise or adopt innovations, and workers in technologically demanding jobs who need STEM capabilities to accomplish occupational tasks.
Source: WA STEM and Washington Employment Security Department Labor Market and Economic Analysis Division: Labor Market and Credential Data Dashboard (Updated December 2022)
Calculation: This chart displays the qualifications of K12 Teachers in STEM Subject areas.
What this means: This graph shows the percent of students by student demographics who were taught by teachers who were inexperienced status, limited certificated status, or out-of-field status. Inexperienced status means that a teacher had fewer than or equal to five (5.0) years of teaching experience. Out-of-field status means that a teacher taught one or more courses outside of their endorsement area. Limited certificate status means that a teacher taught one or more courses under a limited certificate. Students were counted once for each course in which they are enrolled, meaning it is a non-distinct count. To better identify and address opportunity gaps between student access rates to educators, federal law requires OSPI to show student access rate by student group.
Source: Teacher Qualfication Summary: OSPI Report Card (Updated December 2022)
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