STEM Degrees and Military Service: An Intersectional Analysis

Sela R. Harcey, Christina R. Steidl, Regina Werum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Given that the U.S. military uses science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) exposure as a key recruitment tool, one should expect that military service is associated with STEM outcomes. While research demonstrates this pattern for women veterans, we know little about racialized and intersectional patterns. This article uses the American Community Survey data (2014–2018) to examine the association between military service, race/ethnicity, and gender to STEM degrees earned. We find that military service operates contingently: White men’s plus white, Hispanic, and multiracial/other women’s predicted probability of earning a STEM degree increases with military service. In contrast, for other minority groups, military service is not associated with a higher predicted probability of earning a STEM degree. Indeed, for groups typically overrepresented in STEM fields (i.e., Asian veterans), a negative association exists. These findings inform extant research on the long-term impact of military service on civilian reintegration, including educational and occupational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArmed Forces and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • education
  • gender
  • military
  • race
  • science, technology, engineering, and math
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research

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