Labor force: A subset of the population that includes only those who are employed and those who are not working but actively seeking work (unemployed).
Middle-skill occupations: As a subset of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations, middle-skill occupations require a high level of STEM skills and expertise but do not typically require a bachelor’s degree for entry. These positions are primarily in the areas of construction trades, installation, maintenance, and production.
S&E occupations: As a subset of STEM occupations, science and engineering (S&E) occupations typically require a bachelor’s degree for entry and include five major categories of workers: (1) computer and mathematical scientists, (2) biological, agricultural, and environmental life scientists, (3) physical scientists, (4) social scientists, and (5) engineers.
S&E-related occupations: As a subset of STEM occupations, S&E-related occupations require STEM skills and expertise, but they do not fall into the five main S&E categories. The main occupational categories and positions that make up this group include health care workers, S&E managers, S&E precollege teachers, and technologists and technicians.
S&E technologies: This group of degree fields includes science, engineering, health, and other technologies that prepare students for the STEM workforce.
Skilled technical workforce: This subset of the STEM workforce is workers in S&E, S&E-related, and middle-skill occupations who do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
STEM workforce: This subset of the U.S. workforce is comprised of workers in S&E, S&E-related, and middle-skill occupations.
Underrepresented minorities: Races or ethnicities whose representation in STEM employment and S&E education is smaller than their representation in the U.S. population. This includes Blacks or African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, and American Indians or Alaska Natives.
Workforce: A subset of the labor force that includes only employed individuals.
Key to acronyms
COVID-19: coronavirus disease 2019
CPS: Current Population Survey
GSS: Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering
IPEDS: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
NCSES: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
NSCG: National Survey of College Graduates
S&E: science and engineering
SDR: Survey of Doctorate Recipients
SED: Survey of Earned Doctorates
STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics