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FIGURE TS-2 Percent of total degrees awarded which are S&E degrees, by degree type: 1966 to 2001. Most US doctorate degrees are awarded in S&E fields.

SOURCE: Based on National Science Foundation. Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966-2001. NSF 04-311. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2003. Table 1. Data from National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Completions Survey and National Science Foundation/ Division of Science Resources Statistics Survey of Earned Doctorates.

disincentives for many considering an advanced S&E degree.15 An issue raised in several studies on doctoral education is that prospective students are underinformed. A large, cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional survey on the experiences of doctoral students indicated that students entering doctoral programs entered their programs “without having a good idea of the time, money, clarity of purpose, and perseverance that doctoral education entails.”16 The burden of being informed does not rest solely on the prospective student. While professional schools make a point to inform prospective students of the salary and employment levels of graduates, it


R. Freeman, E. Weinstein, E. Marincola, J. Rosenbaum, and F. Solomon. “CAREERS: Competition and Careers in Biosciences.” Science 294(5550)(2001):2293-2294; W. Butz, G. A. Bloom, M. E. Gross, T. K. Kelly, A. Kofner, and H. E. Rippen. Is There a Shortage of Scientists and Engineers?: How Would We Know? IP-241-OSTP. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2003. Available at:; M. S. Teitelbaum. “Do We Need More Scientists?” The Public Interest 153(2003):40-53.


C. M. Golde and T. M. Dore. At Cross Purposes: What the Experiences of Doctoral Students Reveal About Doctoral Education. Philadelphia, PA: A Report Prepared for The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2001.

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