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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

General Notes

Data Tables

Appendix. Technical Notes

Suggested Citation, Acknowledgments

Flora Lan,
Project Officer
(703) 292-4758
Human Resources Statistics Program

Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2008


General Notes


This publication reports integrated data from three National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored demographic surveys: the National Survey of College Graduates, the National Survey of Recent College Graduates, and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. Each survey is administered to a sampled segment of the U.S. population having a bachelor's or higher degree, with an emphasis on graduates from U.S. institutions with a degree in science or engineering (S&E). It is intended to provide policymakers, researchers, and planners with high-quality data on the size, composition, and employment patterns of the nation's S&E workforce.

These data are collected every 2 to 3 years and are contained in the Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System, or SESTAT (available at https://sestat.nsf.gov/sestat/sestat.html). SESTAT currently contains data from these surveys through 2010. Data beginning with the 1993 surveys are available as public-use files or through the SESTAT Data Tool, which allows users to generate custom data tables from individual or integrated survey data.

The technical appendix of this publication provides methodological information about SESTAT, including editing and imputation, sample weights, sampling error and standard error tables, and selected definitions and explanations (with links to degree and occupation classification taxonomies used in SESTAT).

The 2008 SESTAT data represent the population with a bachelor's degree or higher in an S&E field, an S&E-related field, or a non-S&E field but working in an S&E or S&E-related occupation. Although this designated target population is broad and includes many fields of study and many occupations, SESTAT does not represent other groups that can be considered part of the population of scientists and engineers, such as S&E technicians with less than a bachelor's degree.

The number of detailed tables published in this edition of the series has been reduced. The complete list of tables produced for the 2008 SESTAT is shown in exhibit 1 of the technical appendix. The published tables are designated by table number in the first column. The remaining tabulations, designated as "supplemental," are available on request from the SESTAT Project Officer. The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) is working toward a new system of delivering data from its surveys. When fully implemented, select data tables will continue to be published together with the survey's technical documentation. The larger set of detailed data tables associated with the series will be available through the NCSES website and will provide greater opportunity for customization.

Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2008
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 13-320 | June 2013