Maryland STEM grad numbers growing

Maryland colleges and universities are churning out a steady stream of graduates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

About 13,000 STEM students graduated in 2013, a 37 percent increase from 2006, when Maryland schools produced about 9,500 STEM graduates.

Gov. Martin O’Malley announced the figures on Thursday while hosting a video chat — via Google Hangout — with students and faculty from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and University of Maryland University College.

A video of their chat can be found here.

O’Malley held up the graduation numbers as evidence that Maryland is on track to meet one of his most publicized goals: to achieve a 40 percent increase in the number of STEM graduates by 2015.

That objective is one of 16 strategic policy goals articulated in response to recommendations from the STEM Task Force, which he created in 2008 to examine ways to strengthen Maryland’s STEM workforce and economy.

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski emphasized the need to promote diversity within the STEM workforce.

“We need to be doing more to change perceptions about who belongs in STEM fields,” he said. “At UMBC, for instance, our Center for Women in Information Technology (CWIT) is playing an important role helping women recognize their potential to become technology professionals and entrepreneurs.”

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