How is the tertiary-educated population evolving?
New OECD report highlighting STEM trends
A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) titled How is the tertiary-educated population evolving?, forecasts that over the next decade, a growing proportion of young adults are expected to attain tertiary education, with China and India leading the way and in particular, in the fast-growing and highly relevant fields of STEM.
Nonetheless, while women in OECD and G20 countries are expected to experience a greater increase in tertiary attainment than men, they may continue to lag behind in STEM, where they have been consistently under-represented.
The challenge for the near future will be to ensure that educational systems are able to provide tertiary degrees that are both of high quality and relevance, in an equitable and inclusive manner.
Some report highlights:
- China and India: In 2015, more than 30% of tertiary graduates obtained a STEM degree compared to only 21% in OECD countries.
- Employability: STEM skills are increasingly crucial in the labour market, and they are demanded in more occupations than before. Across OECD countries, a STEM graduate is more likely to find a job, and to be paid more when employed, than a graduate in other fields.
- Gender parity: Although an increasing share of women are obtaining a tertiary education, they remain a minority in STEM fields. In 2015, proportion of graduates 31% (OECD countries) and 38% (non-OECD). Interestingly, Argentina is the only country where more than half of STEM graduates were women (59%).