Science and Engineering Indicators – Workforce

Posted on February 25, 2006  Comments (2)

The National Science Board has release the comprehensive Science and Engineering Indicators 2006. The report contains a great deal of interesting information. Some highlights

The science and engineering workforce in the United States has grown rapidly, both over the last half century and the last decade.

  • From 1950 to 2000, employment in S&E occupations grew from fewer than 200,000 to more than 4 million workers, an average annual growth rate of 6.4%.
  • Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses, S&E occupations continued to grow at an average annual rate of 3.6%, more than triple the rate of growth of other occupations.
  • Between 1980 and 2000, the total number of S&E degrees earned grew at an average annual rate of 1.5%, which was faster than labor force growth, but less than the 4.2% growth of S&E occupations. S&E bachelor’s degrees grew at a 1.4% average annual rate, and S&E doctorates at 1.9%.
  • Approximately 12.9 million workers say they need at least a bachelor’s degree level of knowledge in S&E fields in their jobs. However, only 4.9 million were in occupations formally defined as S&E.
  • Twelve million workers have an S&E degree as their highest degree and 15.7 million have at least one degree in an S&E field.
  • Increases in median real salary for recent S&E graduates between 1993 and 2003 indicate relatively high demand for S&E skills during the past decade.
  • For all broad S&E fields, median real salaries grew faster over the decade for master’s degree recipients than for bachelor’s in the same field. This ranged from a 31.8% increase in median real earnings for recipients of physical science master’s degrees to a 54.8% increase for recipients of master’s degrees in computer and mathematical sciences. At the master’s level, however, non-S&E degrees also enjoy large increases in real median salary, growing by 52.7%.
  • Twenty-nine percent of all S&E degree holders in the labor force are age 50 or over. Among S&E doctorate holders in the labor force, 44% are age 50 or over.
  • By age 62, half of S&E bachelor’s degree holders had left full-time employment. Doctorate degree holders work slightly longer, with half leaving full-time employment by age 66.
  • Twenty-five percent of all college-educated workers in S&E occupations in 2003 were foreign born.
  • Forty percent of doctorate degree holders in S&E occupations in 2003 were foreign born.
  • Among all doctorate holders resident in the United States in 2003, a majority in computer science (57%), electrical engineering (57%), civil engineering (54%), and mechanical engineering (52%) were foreign born.
  • Women were 12% of those in S&E occupations in 1980 and 25% in 2000. However, the growth in representation between 1990 and 2000 was only 3 percentage points.
  • The representation of blacks in S&E occupations increased from 2.6% in 1980 to 6.9% in 2000. The representation of Hispanics increased from 2.0% to 3.2%. However, for Hispanics, this is proportionally less than their increase in the population.
  • 2 Responses to “Science and Engineering Indicators – Workforce”

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      March 4th, 2006 @ 10:51 am

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