ERIC Number: ED390659
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Aug
The Production and Utilization of Science and Engineering Doctorates in the United States.
Massy, William F.; Goldman, Charles A.
This report describes a simulation of the supply and demand for science and engineering doctorates, time to complete the doctorate, departmental choice behavior, and related matters. An attempt was made to determine whether there is a credible case for long-term underemployment of people with doctoral degrees. It is concluded that about 22% of the new doctorates could fail to find suitable employment when the supply-demand system achieves steady state based on the conditions prevailing in the early 1990s. A new model for departmental behavior is also presented, in which departments choose faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral employment numbers to meet needs for teaching as determined by less-than-doctoral enrollments and needs for research as determined by sponsored project volume. Some findings of the study are summarized as follows: doctoral student numbers depend more on academic production needs than on the labor market; too many doctorates are being produced in engineering, math, and some sciences; increasing university sponsored research funding would worsen Ph.D. job prospects over the long run; Ph.D. attainment by students entering graduate study in science and engineering average 23% for U.S. students, 21% for foreign students, and 22% overall; median time to the Ph.D. degree is 5 years; attainment rates correlate positively with registered time-to-degree and with percent industrial employment; graduation rates tend to be lower in the high-status institutional seqments; and doctoral program size is more sensitive to overall undergraduate enrollments in fields with heavy general educational loads. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.; Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA. Inst. on Education and Training.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Stanford Inst. for Higher Education Research.