For many years, students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors were easily identified. However, since the realization that the US has a low number of students enrolled in STEM programs, great effort has been expended to encourage youth to pursue careers in these areas. Because of these broad-based efforts, the demographics of students moving into STEM are different from those in the past. There is a noted lack of diversity in students majoring in engineering technology; this is not as prevalent in other STEM fields.

Engineering technology students belong to a unique group. They are formally trained engineers with a high level of applied knowledge. This is a contrast to their counterparts in traditional engineering and other STEM fields and leads to the question of - How do engineering technology students compare to those in other STEM fields?

For this study, data is being extracted from the Multiple-Institution Database for Investigating Engineering Longitudinal Development (MIDFIELD) dataset. This dataset consists of over one million unique undergraduate, degree-seeking students in 11 institutions. This is a large dataset that provides sufficient data for descriptive statistics to begin a comparison of the students in all of the STEM fields as represented by this dataset. Descriptive statistics are used to summarize data extracted from MIDFIELD, and the results of this study provide evidence of the uniqueness of engineering technology students. While engineering technology students are generally white male, approximately 25% of the population is a diverse combination of other ethnic groups and females. Male students matriculate between the ages of 15 and 35, while the majority of females begin their studies between ages 18 and 21.


© 2017 American Society for Engineering Education

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Lucietto, A. M. (2017, June), Engineering Technology Students - How do They Compare to Other STEM Students? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28264