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2023 SHPE-LDC U.S. Latinos in Engineering and Tech Report!
Latinos constitute 19.1% of the U.S. population, and 25% of young Americans aged 18 and under. Despite their relatively young population, they exhibit consistently high workforce participation, surpassing other U.S. demographic groups with a consistent upward trend.(Figure 1.1).
The fact that they are responsible for 73% of labor force growth from 2010 to 2020, signifies their impact across various industries over the years, and when analyzing the current U.S. Latino educational patterns, this trend appears poised to continue.
U.S. Latinos display a remarkable surge in engineering education. Enrollment rates grew by 73.6% between 2010 and 2021, (Figure 1.2). Currently, U.S. Latinos might constitute just 9.4% of the engineering workforce, but their representation among undergraduate engineering students is notably higher at 15.8% as of 2021.
Furthermore, their rise in completed engineering degrees, Master's, and PhDs underscores their determination to pursue higher education and excellence. This is more relevant than ever considering STEM occupations expect to grow by 10.8% and creating 10.9 million job openings by 2031, and currently 49% of firms have to decline projects due to insufficient workforce availability. The annual demand in the coming decade calls for Latino participation in STEM, which is essential to meeting the industry's growing needs.
Nevertheless, there are some extra challenges U.S. Latinos face when studying.
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) is the largest association in the U.S. for Hispanics in STEM. Its annual survey highlights the importance of role models and mentors, career and academic advancement, financial assistance and literacy, and the pressing challenges of homelessness and physical and mental health among their members. (See Figure 1.3)
With a total of 14,351 members in 2023, SHPE plays a pivotal role in supporting U.S. Latinos in engineering and tech by facilitating student graduation via diverse programs and scholarships. An engineering graduation rate of 69.4% among its members (vs. the U.S. general population’s rate of around 50%) demonstrate its impact. This is even more impressive considering that more than 50% of their members are first-generation to college students, who have a 92.2% higher dropout rate than students whose parents had bachelor's degrees or a higher level of education attainment.
The "2023 SHPE-LDC U.S. Latinos in Engineering and Tech Report" sheds light on the growing influence of Latinos in engineering and technology fields, emphasizing their pivotal role in shaping America's economic prosperity and global competitiveness.
This report underscores the indispensable role of U.S. Latinos in engineering and tech, given their growth, labor force impact, and educational achievements. SHPE's support is vital in nurturing Latino talent. Latino involvement is essential for economic advancement, national security, and technological progress. U.S. Latinos are poised to shape the nation's technological path, reflecting their significance in engineering and tech.
Recognizing and addressing their challenges is crucial an a priority for optimizing their potential and boosting economic outputs in the industry.