The STEM workforce tends to have a younger age profile than the overall workforce.
In 2021, workers between the ages of 25 to 44 made up more than half (52.6%) of STEM workers – the largest share of STEM workers. Around 40% of older workers, those ages 45 and more, worked in STEM.
Despite the smaller share of older workers, the STEM workforce is aging. Older workers are staying in the labor market longer, potentially limiting opportunities for younger STEM workers.
These findings come amid longstanding efforts to not only increase the racial and gender make-up of STEM occupations but to encourage students from a young age to pursue STEM and STEM-related degrees.
The pathway to STEM varies by field, with less than a third of STEM-educated workers actually working in a STEM job. Still, STEM workers face favorable labor market opportunities compared to non-STEM workers, potentially benefiting the next generation of workers.