Section 3. Educational Attainment of Federal Scientists and Engineers

Field of Highest Degree
Highest Degree Level

Field of Highest Degree

The most common highest-degree field among all Federal scientists and engineers was engineering. In 1993 approximately 44 percent of all Federal scientists and engineers had obtained a degree in engineering (table 5).

Table 5

Life sciences was the second most common degree field among Federal scientists and engineers (12.5 percent) followed by physical science (11.1 percent), social science (8.8 percent), and computer and mathematical sciences (7.9 percent). Among Federal scientists, the most common highest-degree field in 1993 was life science (23.9 percent), followed by physical science (18.3 percent), and computer and mathematical science (12.9 percent). The most prevalent highest degree among Federal engineers is the engineering degree (86.3 percent), followed by the physical science degree (3.5 percent).

Highest Degree Level

In 1993, 10.6 percent of all Federal scientists and engineers had acquired a Ph.D. degree as their highest degree, 25.1 percent had a master's degree, and 63.4 percent had a bachelor's degree (table 6).

Table 6

These ratios have remained fairly steady and are approximately the same ratios evident in all years of the 1989-93 period covered in this report. In 1993the most Ph.D.-intensive occupational group among Federal S&Es was physical scientists, , 27.8 percent of whom had a Ph.D.as their highest degree. Other Federal S&E occupational groups with high levels of Ph.D. s include life scientists (21.2 percent) and social scientists (19.7 percent).

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