system should support analyses of the scientific and engineering community from the perspectives of both occupational employment and academic training (National Research Council, 1989:55-56). NSF describes SESTAT as follows (National Science Foundation, 2002:2):

SESTAT is a comprehensive and integrated system of information about the employment, educational, and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States. It comprises data collected through three national sample surveys supported by NSF: the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), the National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG), and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). These surveys are conducted biennially; each is administered to a different sample population of bachelor’s and above college degree holders.


The National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) was first administered in April 1993 and biennially thereafter, through 1999. The survey covers a nationally representative sample of college degree holders1 who were identified through the 1990 decennial census. The 1993 NSCG was a special baseline survey of a stratified random sample of individuals identified through the census long form. Eligible persons were those who resided in the United States as of April 1990 and held a bachelor’s degree or higher in any field, not necessarily in the sciences or engineering. In 1993, two selected groups from the NSCG were incorporated into the SESTAT database: those with science or engineering (S&E) degrees, and those with non-S&E degrees but who worked in science and engineering occupations during April 1993.

These two populations are collectively referred to as the NSCG S&E panel. In 1995 and subsequent rounds of the survey, these same two groups have been followed (National Science Foundation, 2002; Westat, 2002b).


College degree holders refers to individuals with a bachelor’s or higher degree. It does not include individuals with only an associate’s degree or specialized degree (e.g., nursing degree below the bachelor’s level). In this report the term S&E degree refers to bachelor’s or higher degree in a science or engineering discipline.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement