Unemployment lower for Ph.Ds than general population

March 9, 2011 § 4 Comments

Finding qualified Ph.D. candidates tough despite recession

According to a report released in January 2011 from the National Science Foundation, the unemployment rate for doctorate recipients in science, engineering, and health was at 1.7 percent in October 2008, much lower than the unemployment rate of the general population at 6.6 percent at the same time . Among the doctorate recipients, the rates ranged from one percent among recipients in mathematics and statistics to 2.4 percent for those in the physical sciences.

The number one employer for doctorate recipients was four-year educational institutions, where 41.4 percent of those surveyed worked in 2008. Private for-profit firms came in second, employing 32.6 percent of the doctoral workforce. These were followed by private non-profit firms, the federal government, and the state/local government respectively.

Of the approximately 662,600 doctoral degree holders in the labor force in 2008, about 651,200, or 98.3 percent, reported being employed full time or part time. About one quarter of those employed had earned a doctorate in the biological, agricultural, or environmental life sciences; 17.7 percent had doctorates in physical sciences; 17.8 percent in engineering; 15.2 percent in psychology; 12.5 percent in social sciences; 4.6 percent in mathematics and statistics; 4.4 percent in health; and 2.5 percent in computer and information sciences.

Across all fields, full-time employment was at 77 percent, ranging from 67.3 percent for psychology to 91.4 percent for computer and information sciences. Part-time employment was most likely among those earning doctorates in psychology at 21.1 percent. Female doctorate recipients were less likely than their male counterparts to be employed full time, but were more likely to be employed part time.

Overall, recruiting the right scientist is still a tough job, but not impossible if you look in the right places. This also means that those scientists in the 1.7 percent should have a much easier time finding a great job or research opportunity. Either way, the goal can be accomplished at iAMscientist, a global community of doctorate recipients and scientific professional who are not only doing excellent research, but also looking for quality talent with things like RFAs, jobs, funding and research opportunities.

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