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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > New study finds historic high of Latino students achieved bachelor’s degrees in engineering and the physical sciences in 2012

New study finds historic high of Latino students achieved bachelor’s degrees in engineering and the physical sciences in 2012

LatinaLista — For all the talk about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, there’s some encouraging news on the horizon. The American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center conducted a study and found that more Latinos, than ever before, are receiving bachelor’s degrees in engineering and the physical sciences. In fact, Latino students outpaced U.S. students overall in receiving those same degrees.

From 2002 to 2012, the number of Hispanics earning bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences rose 78 percent compared to an overall increase of 47 percent in all U.S. bachelor’s degrees earned in those same fields. Similarly, Hispanics earning bachelor’s degrees in engineering rose 64 percent, compared to just a 34 percent increase in the overall population.

These encouraging stats don’t mean a gap still doesn’t exist when it comes to Latino representation in these fields — it does. However, it shows that more young Latinos are following their dreams of “reaching for the stars” or “diving into” a purposeful career.

Some other findings of the study were:

  • In 2012 alone, 10,563 Hispanics earned bachelor’s degrees in the physical sciences and engineering, a historic high.
  • The number of degrees obtained by Hispanic students increased in all nine fields of engineering that were examined, doubling in more than half of the fields between 2002 and 2012
  • There was a 59% increase in chemistry bachelor’s degrees earned from 2002 to 2012 by Hispanics in the US.
  • There has been a 75% increase in astronomy bachelor’s degrees earned from 2002 to 2012 by Hispanics in the US.
  • Bachelor’s degrees in the geosciences have increased over the last decade, resulting in a 134% increase in geoscience degrees earned by Hispanics. Geosciences is a composite classification that encompasses atmospheric sciences, earth science and ocean sciences.
  • Aerospace engineering bachelor’s degrees received by Hispanics in the US has steadily increased over the last decade with a change of 174%
  • Chemical engineering degrees increased by 72%. Engineering technologies degrees have increased by 32% for Hispanics in the US.

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