For Boise graduates, STEM programs grow in popularity

Science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called “STEM” disciplines — are becoming increasingly popular with college-bound graduates in Boise.

Don Coberly square

Don Coberly

Among the Boise School District’s 2010 graduates who received college degrees, 30 percent majored in STEM fields, district Superintendent Don Coberly wrote in a recent blog post.

That number has increased steadily, from 24 percent in 2007 to 25.3 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2009.

All told, 445 Boise alums received degrees in the STEM disciplines between 2007 and 2010.

The most popular of the STEM disciplines is biology, accounting for 101 degrees. But when various engineering majors are added together, they account for 143 degrees.

STEM degrees are a prerequisite for many high-paying, high-tech jobs. As a result, the number of high school graduates pursuing and completing STEM programs is considered an indicator of career readiness.