Panel Paper: Do High School STEM Courses Prepare Non-College-Bound Youth for Jobs in the STEM Economy?

Thursday, November 6, 2014 : 8:50 AM
Cimarron (Convention Center)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Robert Bozick, RAND Corporation, Michael Gottfried, University of California, Santa Barbara and Sinduja V. Srinivasan, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Our study will assess the role that schools play in providing non-college bound youth with the skills and training necessary to successfully transition from high school into the sub-baccalaureate or “second STEM” economy – which is comprised of a diverse array of occupations including carpenters, machinists, mechanics, electricians, and production workers. Specifically, our study will estimate the effects that advanced math, advanced science, engineering, and computer science courses in high school have on the probability that non-college bound youth will obtain employment in the second STEM economy and on wages within two years of graduating from high school. To do so, we analyze a rich, nationally representative longitudinal panel of youth that includes course-taking data abstracted from student transcripts as well as data on early labor force experiences. Preliminary findings suggest that high school coursework is unrelated with the probability of securing a job in the second STEM economy and only weakly related with wages.