In DepthWORKFORCE

Private sector nears rank of top Ph.D. employer

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Science  15 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6432, pp. 1135
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6432.1135

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Summary

Over the past 20 years, the portion of U.S. science and engineering Ph.D.s working at educational institutions has declined—to the point that it's nearly been eclipsed by private sector employment. Some universities are beginning to adapt to this reality by collecting data on the career outcomes of their Ph.D. graduates, which can vary significantly between institutions. The new data represent "a huge first step—huge," according to a labor economist who studies the scientific workforce. "It's like 25 years too late … but it's wonderful." The institution-level data are helping universities improve programming for current students, guide prospective attendees, and fight misconceptions that tenure track positions are the standard career path for today's trainees.