Scientists and engineers trained at the doctorate level undertook a number of activities to further develop the skills they needed for their field, to enhance their work or research, and to interact with others with similar professional interests.
- In 1995, 84 percent of all science and engineering Ph.D.s belonged to at least one professional society or association. By field, health and earth/atmospheric/marine sciences had the highest proportions (93 and 91 percent, respectively) and physics/astronomy had the lowest proportion (79 percent) (see Table 38).
Foreign Work or Research
- Since completing their doctorates, 38 percent of science and engineering Ph.D.s traveled outside the United States to work or conduct research. There was considerable variation by field. High percentages of Ph.D.s in earth/atmospheric/marine sciences (59 percent), social sciences (52 percent), and agricultural/environmental sciences (50 percent) had worked or done research outside the United States. Percentages were relatively low for health sciences (29 percent) and psychology (20 percent) (see Table 39).
- For those who traveled outside the United States, the length of their last trip for work or research was typically one month or less: 22 percent traveled for less than a week and 43 percent for 7 to 30 days. Another 19 percent traveled for 1 to 6 months and 17 percent for more than 6 months. Biological sciences, chemistry, and physics/astronomy had the highest percentages traveling for more than 6 months (between 19 and 20 percent).
- For those not working or conducting research outside the United States, the reason most often cited (39 percent) was "not relevant to my career." Other principal reasons for not traveling were "family-related reasons" (37 percent) and "no time" (36 percent). Also about one-third said they were "unaware of funding available" for work or research outside the United States.
- The reason most often cited for not working or conducting research outside the United States varied by field. Computer science doctorates were most likely to say they had "no time" (47 percent); psychology doctorates were most likely to say it was "not relevant" (45 percent); and computer, health, and biological sciences doctorates were most likely to cite "family-related reasons" (between 41 and 42 percent).
- Only 16 percent of scientists and engineers who had not worked or conducted research outside the United States said they were deterred by a "lack of foreign language skills" or that they were "concerned about losing my place in U.S. job market."
- Fifty-two percent of science and engineering doctorates attended work-related workshops, seminars, or training in the year leading up to the survey (this excludes college courses or general sessions at professional meetings). By field, participation in work-related training ranged from a low of 39 percent among Ph.D.s in physics/astronomy to a high of 72 percent among psychology doctorates (see Table 40).
- By and large, the training in which science and engineering Ph.D.s participated was technical training in their occupational field. This was true for 78 percent of all who participated in work-related training, with variations by field from a low of 70 percent in physics/astronomy to 92 percent in psychology. Approximately 28 percent of those who attended training indicated they had attended management or supervisory training, a percentage that varied from a low of 17 percent for psychology to a high of 38 percent for chemistry.
- The reason most often cited by doctorates for attending work-related training was to gain further skills or knowledge in their occupational field (92 percent). The second most frequent reason given for attending was that training was required or expected by their employers (33 percent).
- Between April 1993 and April 1995, about 6 percent of science and engineering doctorates took college or university courses or enrolled in a college or university for other reasons, such as completing another master's degree or Ph.D. (see Table 41).
- For those who took courses or enrolled in school, the most frequently cited reason for doing so was to gain further skills (63 percent). This ranged from a low of 49 percent for mathematical sciences doctorates to highs of 77 and 80 percent for agricultural/environmental and health sciences doctorates, respectively. Personal interest was the second most frequently listed reason (52 percent). Mathematical sciences doctorates were most likely to cite this reason (64 percent).
- For 45 percent of doctorates, their employers paid the school-related costs associated with taking courses. Employers were most likely to pay the costs of courses taken by engineering Ph.D.s (55 percent) and least likely to pay the costs of courses taken by psychology Ph.D.s (34 percent).
- About 16 percent of those taking courses completed a certificate or another degree.