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More Than One-Fifth of All Individuals Employed in Science and Engineering Occupations Have Less Than a Bachelor's Degree Education
More than four million individuals with at least a high school education were employed in science and engineering (S&E) occupations in the United States as of April 2003. Within this group, a substantial proportion, 22 percent, reported either a high school diploma (5 percent) or an associate's degree (17 percent) as their highest level of educational attainment (table 1). Among the remaining proportion, 48 percent held a bachelor's degree, about 22 percent held a master's degree, 7 percent held a doctorate, and about 2 percent held a professional degree.Table 1 Source Data: Excel file
The occupational and demographic characteristics of individuals who have been successful in obtaining employment in S&E occupations with the academic credentials of an associate's degree or a high school diploma are examined here. Within this group, 78 percent had an associate's degree as their highest degree, and the remaining 22 percent had a high school diploma but not a college degree.
Data included in this report are from the April 2003 Current Population Survey (CPS) file. See "Data Notes," below, for more detail.
Significant numbers of individuals employed in computer and math science occupations and engineering occupations have high school diplomas or associate's degrees but no higher college degrees (table 2). Approximately 40 percent of all individuals employed in computer and math science occupations and 20 percent of all individuals employed in engineering occupations have no higher than an associate's degree. The three other major occupational groups examined, life science occupations, physical science occupations, and social science occupations, have substantially smaller proportions (10 percent or less) of individuals with less than a bachelor's degree education.Table 2 Source Data: Excel file
Results of a study conducted at the National Science Foundation that examined the usefulness and comparability of estimates of the S&E workforce at all educational levels are in the forthcoming report "A Comparison of the National Science Foundation's Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) with the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey (CPS)," which will be available at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/special.htm.
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 Throughout this report, the highest degree earned is used to determine an individual's level of education.
Last Modified: Aug 12, 2004. Contact SRS