Survey reports employment characteristics for more than 200 fields of study

July 14, 2017
Increased sample size in 2015 Survey of Doctorate Recipients enables first time reporting on fine fields of study. Credit: Rob Margetta

The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics has more than doubled the sample size of its 2015 Survey of Doctorate Recipients in order to examine employment characteristics for specific fields of degree for the first time.

The 2015 survey reports employment data for eight broad degree fields, as well as more than 200 "fine" fields of degree within those broad categories.

More than 1 million people worldwide held doctorates from U.S. institutions in science, engineering and health (SEH) fields. The 2015 survey sampled data from 120,000 people who had earned doctorates from U.S. institutions in SEH fields.

About 88 percent of SEH doctorate holders resided in the United States and 12 percent abroad. Of doctorate holders residing in the United States, 87 percent were part of the , with 76 percent working full time. Of those not residing in the United States, 94 percent were part of the labor force.

In the United States, 47 percent of working doctorate holders were employed in the business/industry sector and 45 percent at educational institutions. Most of the doctorate holders working abroad (66 percent) were employed in the education sector.

Of doctorate holders residing in the United States, 41 percent were performing research and development (R&D) as their primary work activity. When R&D was reported as either a primary or secondary work activity, the rate increased to 63 percent.

Of the eight broad fields of degree in the , the rate of R&D as a primary activity ranged from 18 percent for psychology doctorate holders to 54 percent for engineering doctorate holders.

Nearly 40 percent of the U.S.-trained doctorate holders were born outside the United States, and 73 percent of this group remained in the United States in 2015. At the time of their graduation, doctorate holders born outside the United States included those with temporary visas (72 percent), permanent residents (15 percent), and U.S. citizens (13 percent).

Explore further: Unemployment for doctoral scientists and engineers below national average in 2013

More information: For more information and detailed breakdowns of data, read the full report.

Related Stories

Number of doctorates awarded continued to grow in 2009

November 22, 2010

U.S. academic institutions awarded 49,562 research doctorate degrees in 2009, the highest number ever reported by the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), and a 1.6 percent increase over 2008's ...

Recommended for you

Neanderthal boy's skull grew like a human child's: study

September 21, 2017

The first analysis of a Neanderthal boy's skull uncovered in Spain suggests that he grew much like a modern boy would, in another sign that our extinct ancestors were similar to us, researchers said Thursday.

Early trilobites had stomachs, new fossil study finds

September 21, 2017

Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system. Published today in the journal PLOS ONE, ...

Big herbivorous dinosaurs ate crustaceans as a side dish

September 21, 2017

Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new University of Colorado ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.