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ERIC Number: ED534176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Physics Doctorates Initial Employment: Data from the Degree Recipient Follow-Up Survey for the Classes of 2009 and 2010. Focus On
Anderson, Garrett; Mulvey, Patrick
Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics
Each fall the Statistical Research Center conducts its Survey of Enrollments and Degrees, which asks all degree-granting physics and astronomy departments in the U.S. to provide information concerning the numbers of students they have enrolled and counts of recent degree recipients. In connection with this survey, the authors ask for the names and contact information for their recent degree recipients. This degree recipient information is used to conduct their follow-up survey in the winter following the academic year in which they received their degrees. The data in this "focus on" comes from that survey. Findings reveal that more than two-thirds of physics PhDs from the classes of 2009 and 2010 accepted a temporary position after earning their doctorate. Postdocs at government labs had a higher starting salary than postdocs in academe. The median starting salary for potentially permanent positions in the private sector was $90,000. New PhDs in potentially permanent positions were much more likely to be employed in the private sector than in academic institutions or in the U.S. government. Most new physics PhDs work in physics and nearly all work in STEM fields. There are viable ways for new PhDs to change subfields or to move into non-physics fields, should they desire. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3067; Fax: 301-209-0843; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Institute of Physics, Statistical Research Center