To accurately measure the supply of scientific and engineering skills in the Federal Government, a more complete examination would be required of Federal employees who are trained as scientists and engineers but work in non-S&E occupations. In 1993, 73 percent of all Federal white collar employees with a bachelor's degree or higher were employed in a non-S&E occupation. These levels remain consistent throughout the 4-year period covered in this report. Most of the Federal employees in non-S&E jobs are trained in the social sciences, the life sciences, and the computer and mathematical sciences.
There is also a group of Federal employees with degrees in nonscientific or nonengineering fields who are increasingly employed in S&E occupations. They may have acquired skills during the attainment of that degree that are easily transferrable to other S&E occupations. This group grew from 6.9 percent of white collar employees in 1989 to 7.6 percent in 1993. Federal employees with their highest degree in a non-S&E field and employed as life scientists have grown more rapidly than any other group (29.8 percent). Other rapidly growing occupations that include a larger proportion of graduates with non-S&E degrees include computer and mathematical scientists (19.1 percent), social scientists (18.4 percent), and physical scientists (17.4 percent).