Driven by STEM opportunities, more women enrolling in MSU engineering

Posted: 9:01 AM, Aug 31, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-31 09:01:53-04

Nearly 21 percent of the students enrolled this year in the Michigan State University College of Engineering are women. That’s up from 18 percent last year, when the college first saw women enrollment top more than 1,000.

Dean Leo Kempel said this year’s upward trend remains consistent with the college’s overall enrollment increase for nearly a decade.

“Once again, we will welcome one of the largest classes of freshman students in more than 25 years, with women students comprising nearly one-quarter of the incoming class," he said. “The consistent increase in enrollment is evidence that Michigan State University is among the fastest rising engineering colleges in the entire nation.”

The college’s overall goal is to have an undergraduate population that is 25 percent female by 2020.

The college’s strong partnership with the National Council for Women in Information Technology has been helpful in attracting women students, as has the national attention on careers in the so-called STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), now among the best paying in the country.

According to MSU’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute, which annually publishes data about what degrees earn the highest salaries, STEM fields round out the top five jobs on the highest-paying list: chemical engineers (average starting salary of $63,389); computer engineers ($63,313); electrical engineers ($61,173); software design ($60,104); and mechanical engineers ($59,681).