‹ Back

STEM Talent

2023 stem talent Index

Highlighting Record Highs in Graduates and Workforce Diversity

executive summary

Illinois offers a unique and diverse landscape for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). From degree programs to the post-graduation job market, Illinois is consistently a national leader in STEM graduation rates and employment. This year’s STEM Talent Report explores trends within STEM education and the STEM workforce from 2013-2022. The Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) produces this report annually as part of the Illinois Innovation Index, a tripartite report series that provides timely analysis and insight on technology-based economic activity in Illinois. The intention of the STEM Talent Report is to identify and highlight Illinois’ supply of STEM talent, which is represented by degree conferrals, as well as demand in the workforce, which is represented by trends in the job market.

STEM supply and demand is an important indicator of economic vitality in Illinois. The state has consistently ranked in the top 10 for STEM degrees awarded and STEM employment rates. A number of sectors critical to the U.S innovation economy have long called Illinois home and Illinois is proud to offer top tier institutions of higher education. ISTC hopes that the data shared in this report can inspire additional research and inform decisions that can continue positioning Illinois as a leader in STEM through evidence-based policy, strategic partnerships, and impactful programming.



Video from our STEM Talent Report Release Event on March 7, 2024



  • In 2022, the number of STEM degrees awarded in Illinois reached a new record high at 27,434 in 2022 and the state now ranks 7th in the nation for STEM degree completion. For comparison, New York ranked 2nd in STEM degree conferrals in 2022 at 54,057, Texas ranked 3rd at 48,878, and Iowa ranked 27th at 7,642 STEM degrees.
  • Illinois ranks 21st among all states in the percentage of total degrees that are in STEM at 22.59%. For comparison, Texas is ranked 19th (22.75%), New York is 18th (23.14%), Iowa is 1st (45.30%).
  • Over the last 5 years, three STEM subject areas in Illinois have seen increases in completions; Business and Management STEM degrees (35.01% 5-Year cumulative annual growth rate), Natural Resources and Conservation (7.82%), and Interdisciplinary Sciences (6.85%).
  • Illinois was third in the nation in 2022 for the number of pre-baccalaureate STEM completions in the state (7,737 degrees or certificates).
  • Over the last 5 years, there has been a significantly larger number of pre-baccalaureate STEM completions in the following subject areas; Computer and Information Sciences (29.1%), and Engineering-Related Technologies (17.89%).
  • Four-year degree completions in Illinois are declining overall, but STEM degree completions are increasing. The total number of all degree completions in Illinois fell from 2021 to 2022 by just over 2,000 degrees.


  • Illinois STEM Jobs1 reached near record high, with 350,380 Illinoisans employed in STEM fields, according to ISTC’s coding. This is nearly 24,000 more STEM Employees than reported in the 2022 STEM Talent Report. The highest number of STEM jobs in Illinois was in 2019 (352,280).
  • Illinois ranks 25th in the percentage of all jobs in the state that are in STEM fields (6.01%), just under the national rate of 6.61%. Washington D.C. (12.97%), and Washington state (10.25%) rank 1st and 2nd on this metric.
  • The fastest growing STEM Career Fields in Illinois are Mathematics and Statistics (6,090 jobs added in five years; a 13.83% growth rate), social science roles (3,270 jobs added in five years; a 8.20% growth rate), and management roles in STEM (4,980 jobs added in five years; a 3.98% growth rate).
  • By Career Fields, Illinois2 experienced a significant one-year growth in computer science jobs (8,870 jobs for a 5.5% increase) and mathematics jobs (3,050 added for a 25.4% increase).
  • The fastest growing STEM occupations in Illinois include Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians (85.5%), Animal Scientists (66.9%), Statisticians (45.9%), General Drafters (37.6%), General Life Scientists (32.4%), General Psychologists (21.7%), and Physicists (18.9%).


  • Women represent 50.49% of Illinois’ population. In Illinois, women received 10,648 STEM degrees in 2021 (39.03% of all Illinois STEM Degree Earners in 2021). In 2022, women increased their representation. 10,912 women received STEM degrees in 2022, reflecting 39.78% of the total 27,434 Illinois STEM Degrees awarded.
  • There were 39,276 Black Illinoisans employed in STEM roles in May of 2022, according to ISTC’s coding of STEM positions and the American Community Survey’s available data on employment statistics by demographics. This is a record-high number of Black STEM employees in the state and also contributes to Black employees making up a record-high percentage of the STEM workforce in Illinois for the 2022 data year.
  • In 2022, Black Illinoisians made up 8.05% of STEM workers in Illinois. This percentage surpasses the previous high in 2011 of 7.1% and is an improvement since 2021, when Black Illinoisians made up 5.5% of STEM workers in Illinois.
  • There was a record-high number of Latinx Illinoisans (60,440) who held STEM related positions in 2022. This total represents 9.87% of the total STEM workforce in Illinois for 2022. In 2021, Latinx Illinoisans made up 9.46% of the Illinois STEM workforce.


  • Illinois retains 60.57% of Data and Computer Science graduates.
  • Illinois graduates in computer science or data science are more than 4x as likely to locate in Chicago than any other major city to start their careers.
  • Illinoisans are 6x as likely to locate in Chicago than any other major city if they major in biomedical engineering or biotechnology
**By submitting this form, you agree to receive future communications from the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition. If you have any issues accessing the report please email us at [email protected].


2022 – Talent Index

Illinois continues to increase its STEM degree production, there continues to be significant growth in computer and information sciences, and interdisciplinary STEM fields.

Read more ›

2020 – Talent Index

Illinois is among the national leaders in STEM job growth over the past decade.

Read more ›

2019 – Talent Index

Computer and data science lead the way. New analysis shows retention is strong among recent grads.

Read more ›

2018 – Talent Index

Computer and data science lead the way. New analysis shows retention is strong among recent grads.

Read more ›

2017 – Talent Index

STEM, Computer science degrees reach record high

Read more ›

2016 – Talent Index

A comprehensive look at STEM degrees, talent migration, and skills in demand

Read more ›

2015 – Talent Index

New analysis sheds light on STEM talent supply and demand in Illinois

Read more ›

2014 – Talent Index

STEM attainment in Illinois and talent migration trends in Chicago

Read more ›

2013 – Talent Index

Talent in Illinois and Chicago: Data and recent trends

Read more ›