Cohort Differences in Occupational Retention among Computer Science Degree Holders: Reassessing the Role of Family

Although women's representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
employment has increased significantly over the past few decades, their presence remains low
in fields like computer science. Using the National Science Foundation's Scientists and Engineers
Statistical Data System (SESTAT), this paper assesses the factors shaping employment in STEM
and non-STEM occupations among men and women with bachelor's degrees in computer
science. Our results reveal that women with degrees in computer science are far less likely than
their male counterparts to be employed in STEM occupations, particularly in computer science
jobs. But family factors do not have the expected association with employment in computer
science jobs. Men who are parents and childless women are more likely to work in non-STEM
jobs versus computer science jobs, relative to childless men. Furthermore, the gender gap in
employment in computer science jobs is larger among those graduating in the new millennium,
suggesting that other factors are at play.

Full Article: sassler_smith_michelmore_socpersp_2023.pdf

Sociological Perspectives 2023