|Science Resources Studies Division|
|Recent Engineering Graduates Out-Earn Their Science Counterparts|
In 1995, the median annual salary
for recent (July 1992-June 1994) engineering graduates was $33,500
for those with a bachelor's degree in engineering and $44,000
for those with a master's degree in engineering
(table 1). These
salaries are 46 percent and 26 percent higher than salaries for
recent bachelor's ($22,900) and master's ($35,000) degree recipients,
respectively, in science fields.
Salary figures and employment status data for recent science and engineering (S&E) graduates are derived from the National Survey of Recent College Graduates, a survey conducted biennially by the National Science Foundation. The survey was conducted in 1995 and covers about 700,000 persons who received a bachelor's and/or master's degree from July 1992 through June 1994.
About one-fourth of the 1993 and 1994 S&E bachelor's and master's graduates were enrolled in graduate school on a full-time basis in 1995. Students who had majored in the physical and related sciences and the life and related sciences were more likely to be in graduate school as full-time students than were graduates with degrees in computer and mathematical sciences or engineering (table 1).
Success in the job market varies significantly by level and field of degree. One measure of success is the likelihood of finding employment directly related to a graduate's field of study. Approximately one-half of all master's degree recipients,
but only a fifth of all bachelor's graduates, were employed in
their field of study in 1995. Among both master's and bachelor's
degree recipients, students who had received their degrees in
either engineering or computer science were more likely to be
working in their field of study than degree recipients in other
S&E fields, whereas students majoring in the social sciences
were less likely than their counterparts in other S&E fields
to have jobs directly related to their degrees.
The private for-profit sector is by far the largest employer of recent bachelor's and master's S&E degree recipients. In 1995, 59 percent of bachelor's degree recipients and 47 percent of master's degree recipients were employed in a private, for-profit company (table 2). The academic sector has been the second largest employer of recent S&E graduates. Master's degree recipients were more likely to be employed in 4-year colleges and universities (23 percent) than were bachelor's degree recipients (13 percent). The Federal sector employed only 7 percent of S&E master's degree recipients and 4 percent of S&E bachelor's degree recipients in 1995. Engineering graduates are more likely to find employment in the Federal sector than science graduates. Other sectors employing small numbers of recent S&E graduates include educational institutions other than 4-year colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and State or local government agencies.
Another measure of job market success is the likelihood
of finding a career path job.
As expected, S&E master's degree recipients were more likely
than S&E bachelor's degree recipients to find a career path
job. Approximately, two-thirds of all master's degree recipients
and one-half of all bachelor's degree recipients found a career
path job. Graduates with degrees in computer and mathematical
sciences or engineering were more likely to find career path jobs
than graduates with degrees in other fields. Three-fifths of
bachelor's degree graduates in computer and mathematical sciences
and engineering indicated that they had found career path jobs.
Almost four-fifths of all master's graduates with degrees in
computer and mathematical sciences and engineering found career
This Data Brief was prepared by John Tsapogas who may be reached at the following address:
Division of Science Resources Studies
For free printed copies of SRS Data Briefs, write to the above address, call 703-306-1773, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.