We use five years of American Community Survey data to examine how military service provides a non-degree-based pathway into STEM occupations. Military service is associated with STEM occupations in positive and surprising ways. Veterans are more likely than their civilian counterparts to work in STEM, an effect particularly strong for women and among workers without a STEM bachelor's degree. Among workers lacking STEM BAs, veterans were more likely to hold STEM occupations. Indeed, veterans lacking a college degree at all are more likely than their nonveteran counterparts to hold STEM employment. We conclude that military service in itself provides a rarely-discussed route to diversifying STEM and consider the policy implications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science