When our analysis of STEM talent began five years ago, the state lagged the national average for degree production, ranking 43rd among states for the share of college degrees awarded in STEM disciplines. In 2016, Illinois rose to ninth. This transformational growth, especially in health and computer science disciplines, has positioned the state as a national leader for STEM talent.
Computer science (CS) degrees have seen unprecedented growth in Illinois, reaching a record high in 2016. The state has more than doubled its production of CS degrees over the last five years, and is the second largest producer in the country. Aiding this growth is the number of international and immigrant students in the field. A staggering 49.9 percent of CS degrees were awarded to international and immigrant students in 2016.