|Science Resources Studies Division|
|Number of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers Grows by 6 percent between 1993 and 1995|
In 1995, there were almost 543,000 scientists and engineers (S&Es) in the U.S. with doctoral degrees earned from U.S. institutions. This number is an increase of about 6 percent from 1993. Nearly one-tenth (9.0 percent) of the
1995 total were not in the labor force, i.e., not employed and not seeking employment. These include, amongst others, retirees below the age of 76.
Of the approximately 492,000 doctoral S&Es in the labor force in 1995, about 484,800 (98.5 percent) reported themselves as working for pay or profit. Most of these (84 percent) held degrees in the sciences; 16 percent held doctorates in engineering. About one third (33 percent) of the employed scientists held degrees in the life sciences.
As in 1993, recent Ph.D. graduates (those less than 3 years after graduation) were more likely to be unemployed than their more senior peers-1.9 percent unemployment across all fields in 1995. This rate drops, however, for those who are from 3-5 years beyond their graduation. For example, the unemployment rate for S&Es receiving their Ph.D.s between 1990 and 1992 was 1.6 percent in 1995. Unemployment rates during the working life of most S&Es (those who received their doctorates after 1960) remain below the level of unemployment for new graduates.
The overall S&E IOF rate stood at 4.2 percent in 1995, roughly the same as in 1993. Again, variations by field are apparent, with the physical science doctorates showing the highest IOF rate (6.3 percent) and the life scientists the lowest (3.4 percent), a pattern unchanged from 1993. These numbers continue to support the widespread anecdotal discussions of employment problems among doctoral physicists and geoscientists noted in 1993, but they also put the problems into a perspective of overall employment and involuntarily out-of-field rates.
Employment and Gender
Female S&E doctorate holders (86.6 percent) were slightly less likely than their male counterparts (94.5 percent) to be employed full-time in 1995, but much more likely to be employed part-time (men-4.0 percent, women-11.8 percent). An equal
proportion of men and women (1.5 percent) reported themselves as not employed, but seeking employment.
Employment and Racial and Ethnic Identity
Doctorate holders from racial and ethnic minorities were more likely to be employed full-time than their white counterparts in 199594.5 percent for Native Americans, 94.7 for blacks, and 95.7 percent for Asians, versus 92.3 percent for whites. Minority group doctorate holders were less likely than whites to be employed part-time, and much less likely to be retired, but somewhat more likely to be unemployed.
Employment by Sector
Educational institutions employed over one-half (51.5 percent) of all doctoral scientists and about one-third (33.1 percent) of all Ph.D. engineers in 1995, proportions about the same as in 1993. Doctoral engineers were most likely to be employed in private-for-profit industry. In 1995, private-for-profit (including self-employed) industry employed 56.9 percent of S&Es having their doctorates in engineering fields and 32.1 percent of those with doctorates in the sciences.
Information in this Data Brief is from the 1995 Survey of Doctorate Recipients, conducted by the National Research Council for the National Science Foundation.
For more information contact R. Keith Wilkinson (703) 306-1776, Science and Engineering Personnel Program, Division of Science Resources Studies, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965, Arlington, VA 22230. For a free copy of Data Briefs, write to the above address, call (703) 306-1773, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.