Western Carolina University, the nation’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is being recognized by the United States Department of Education as one of America’s Best Colleges for Graduate-Level STEM Students.
The announcement was made Thursday by the Education Department, which recognized Western Carolina’s excellence for its STEM program and for its excellence in academic excellence.
Western Carolina was selected as one for the 2020 list of the top 50 colleges by the U.S. News & World Report, the highest honor bestowed by the publication.
“The Western Carolina STEM program is the most academically rigorous in the state, with more than 2,200 students enrolled in more than 300 undergraduate majors,” said Dr. John A. Burt, dean of Western Carolina and president of the department.
“Our graduates have won national and international honors for their achievement and are well positioned to achieve in today’s world.”
The 2019 ranking is one of four that were released this year, and the 2018 list is the second consecutive year that Western Carolina has won the top ranking.
This year’s list, which includes the top 10 institutions and their total number of graduates in STEM, is comprised of 14 schools, including Western Carolina, which had a total of 15.
Western Columbia University and Western Carolina are the only two public universities on the list.
The top-ranked university in the U, with 18 graduates on the 2019 list, is Cal State University, San Marcos.
The ranking is a reflection of the fact that STEM majors are at the center of many STEM education initiatives.
“As STEM graduates continue to excel in STEM careers, we’re proud to have the best students in our state at Western Carolina,” said Burt.
“This ranking honors the dedication of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who bring this exciting and dynamic field of study to our students, and all of us who care about it.”
The Western Carolina ranking recognizes Western Carolina as one with a great chance of attracting and retaining the best graduate-grade STEM students.
“We know our students will want to transfer to Western Carolina after completing their degree,” said the department’s chair of STEM, Dr. Jennifer Hahn.
“I can assure you, we are confident that students will continue to thrive and graduate on a level that matches their talents, and we’re committed to developing them into leaders in the STEM workforce in the future.”
For more information on the 2020 ranking, go to https://jobs.nasa.gov/2020.
The 2020 list was released just as the agency launched its STEM job index, which measures job placement rates in STEM fields.
In the STEM job market, STEM positions account for over one-third of the U and one-quarter of the jobs.
For more than 40 percent of STEM jobs, the job is directly related to the technology industry, according to the agency.
The U.N. report on STEM jobs says that in 2018, the STEM jobs market had a net job creation of 2.6 million, a 7.4 percent increase over the previous year.
STEM jobs accounted for approximately 30 percent of all jobs in the United Kingdom in 2020.
STEM has become an important and growing field of employment, as evidenced by the recent growth in international STEM employment, which is the sector in which STEM majors excel, according the Department of Commerce.
The number of U.K. STEM graduates has more than tripled since 2000, and in 2020, the number of STEM graduates in the country surpassed 2.7 million.
In 2020, STEM graduates comprised nearly 8 percent of the total workforce, up from less than 0.5 percent in 2000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual income for a STEM graduate in 2020 was $50,500.
STEM education also has an economic impact.
“For every $1 invested in STEM education, $6 is created,” said Steve G. Jones, president and CEO of the United Steelworkers, the country’s largest union representing approximately 9 million steelworkers.
“In the past, STEM education was a luxury for a few and a luxury that was often deferred or not available to students, so many young people were left out of the workforce.
We’re hopeful that the next wave of STEM students will be able to take advantage of STEM education and make an impact on the U’s economy, society and the world.”