The U.S. S&E labor market continues to grow both in absolute
numbers and in its percentage of the total labor market. Even without
the dramatic growth of IT jobs, other areas of S&E employment
have had strong growth over the past two decades.
In general, labor market conditions for those with S&E degrees,
although always better than for college graduates as a whole, have
improved during the 1990s. Labor market conditions for new Ph.D.
recipients have also been good by most conventional measuresS&E
doctorate-holders are employed and doing work relevant to their
trainingbut the gains have come in the nonacademic sectors
(i.e., in most fields, a smaller percentage of recent Ph.D. recipients
are obtaining tenure-track positions).
The age structure of the U.S. S&E labor force is likely to produce
several major changes in the S&E labor market over the next
decade. The number of individuals with S&E degrees reaching
traditional retirement ages is expected to triple. Despite this,
if S&E degree production remains at current rates, the number
of S&E-trained individuals in the labor market will likely continue
to grow for some time, albeit at a lower rate, as the number of
new graduates continues to exceed the number of retirees.
The globalization of the S&E labor force is expanding in two
ways: location of S&E employment is becoming more internationally
diverse, and S&E workers are becoming more internationally mobile.
Although both trends are highlighted by the high-profile international
competition for IT workers, every field of science and technology
has been affected.