October 21, 2011
High Demand for Science Graduates Enables Them to Pick Their Jobs, Report Says
(Paul Baskin, Chronicle of Higher Education) — A couple of years ago, a pair of researchers at Georgetown University and Rutgers University concluded that, contrary to widespread perception, the United States produces plenty of scientists and engineers.
The problem, wrote Harold Salzman of Rutgers and B. Lindsay Lowell of Georgetown, is that fewer than half of all college graduates in science and engineering actually take jobs in those fields. So instead of pressing colleges to produce more science graduates, they wrote, the country needed only to persuade new graduates to take the right jobs.
A study released on Wednesday by another Georgetown research team suggests, however, that lot of persuasion may be necessary.
Among its findings, the study, from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, shows that science and engineering graduates enjoy high demand in a variety of fields, with a bachelor’s degree in a science major commanding a greater salary than a master’s degree in a nonscience major.
And, the new report says, English-speaking science graduates are much less likely than foreign-born science graduates to take a job in a traditional science career, which American graduates often view as too socially isolating.
“It sort of fits the stereotype, frankly,” said the report’s lead author, Anthony P. Carnevale, a research professor at Georgetown who serves as director of the Center on Education and the Workforce.
In recent months, the center has also issued reports that analyzed students’ future earnings based on their undergraduate majors, and that tied lifetime earnings as much to students’ choice of occupation as to their degrees. More…Posted by: psilberman