Science and Engineering Doctoral Degrees Worldwide
Posted on August 10, 2005 Comments (1)
Lagging Engineer Degrees a Crisis by Kevin Hall:
U.S. universities continue awarding more doctoral degrees in engineering than universities anywhere else. But the American Association of Engineering Societies said foreign nationals received 58 percent of the U.S. doctoral degrees in engineering last year: 3,766 degrees out of 6,504. A decade earlier, they accounted for less than half.
I doubt that US universities are awarding more doctoral degrees than others are. Even if that is true I doubt it will last for even 5 more years. You might measure this in various ways including: absolute number of doctoral degrees awarded or using a per capita number. I believe several European countries are ahead today on a per capita basis. On an absolute basis I would be surprised if China or India isn’t already ahead. But if neither is, that will not true for long. I tried to find some good data online and wasn’t able to find anything certain in the time I took. Lost Dominance in Ph.D. Production sites a National Bureau of Economic Research report:
Indeed, the report finds that if China continues to expand science and engineering programs at its current pace (which may not be possible), it would overtake the United States in producing Ph.D.’s in those fields as early as 2010.
Detailed statistics are available in an NSF report on science and engineering doctoral degrees granted in the United States.
The Brain Drain by Debra W. Stewart, The Boston Globe
Security, Innovation, and Human Capital in the Global Interest by Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The countries which have been primary sources for the United States of science and engineering talent China, India, Taiwan, South Korea are making a concerted effort to educate more of their own at home, and to fund more research within their borders. Between 1986 and 1999, the number of science and engineering doctorates granted increased 400 percent in South Korea, 500 percent in Taiwan, and 5,400 percent (that is correct 5,400 percent) in China.