Chapter 1:

Introduction


Data Sources

Data for this report come from a number of sources. (See appendix A, "Technical Notes.") The primary sources of information are surveys conducted by NSFís Division of Science Resources Studies. Other sources include surveys conducted by the Department of Educationís National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Data on bachelorís and masterís degrees come from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systemís (IPEDS) Completions Survey, which is part of an integrated system of surveys conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. This survey provides data on the number and types of degrees awarded by U.S. postsecondary institutions and data on the characteristics of degree recipients.

Graduate enrollment data come from NSFís Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering. This survey provides data on the number and characteristics of graduate science and engineering students enrolled in U.S. institutions, differences in enrollment patterns, and differences in financial support patterns.

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is the source of data on doctoral degrees. This survey, which is conducted for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, annually provides data on the number and characteristics of individuals receiving research doctorate degrees[7]  from U.S. institutions.

Employment data come primarily from three surveys that form an integrated system of NSF surveys called the Scientist and Engineer Statistics Data System (SESTAT) to produce national estimates of the entire science and engineering workforce. The Survey of Doctorate Recipients provides demographic and employment information on individuals with doctoral degrees in science and engineering. This survey is a longitudinal survey of a sample of individuals under the age of 76 who received a research doctorate in science or engineering from a U.S. institution and who were living in the United States. The National Survey of Recent College Graduates provides employment and demographic data on individuals who recently obtained bachelorís or masterís degrees in science or engineering fields. The National Survey of College Graduates provides data on the number and characteristics of individuals with training and/or employment in science and engineering in the United States.

The "Technical Notes" found in appendix A present information on the underlying concepts, data collection techniques, reporting procedures, and statistical reliability of the primary data sources used in this report.


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Footnotes

[7] Research doctorates are doctorates which require original research. These include most PhD, and some Ed.D. and D.Sc. degrees. Nonresearch doctorates and first-professional degrees such as the J.D., M.D., D.D.S., or Psy.D. are not included in the Survey of Earned Doctorates.


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