The U.S. Department of Education reported data on bachelor's degrees by academic discipline and sex of the graduation students of the college class of 2011.
The share of females in mathematics and statistics was 43.1%, in physical sciences and science technologies, 40.2%; computer and information sciences, 17.6%; and engineering, 17.6%. In absolute numbers, male degrees in STEM fields outnumbered female by 96,203, with the largest gap of 61,083 in engineering.
Where can 96,203 female students interested and qualified to earn degrees in STEM be found? Easy, in Asia. U.S. universities with departments in STEM can invite interested female students in leading universities in China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and India to apply for admission. Offering tuition waivers with part-time work for room and board should enable 96,203 females to gain entrance into STEM departments in U.S. universities next fall.
The likely immigration reform legislation will grant holders of graduate degrees "green cards" to work and live in the U.S. The diligent study habits of Asian females should enable most of them to earn STEM Ph.D. degrees and thus repay the U.S. with their productive skills.
This approach is far easier and quicker than trying to persuade 96,203 more U.S. resident females to earn STEM degrees. And, if the number of places expands to accommodate increased female enrollment without reducing enrollment of qualified males, the U.S. will receive the benefits of an additional 95,000-100,000 high-tech graduates every year.
(HT: Mark J. Perry)