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The US share of scientists and engineers will continue to decline.

  • Other nations will have larger numbers of students receiving undergraduate degrees in science and engineering. In 2000, more than 25 countries had a higher percentage of 24-year-olds with degrees in science and engineering than did the United States.46

  • The number of graduate degrees awarded in science and engineering will decline.

    • The number of new doctorates in science and engineering peaked in the United States in 1998.

    • By 2010, China will produce more science and engineering doctorates than the United States does.47

    • The US share of world science and engineering doctorates granted will fall to about 15% by 2010, down from more than 50% in 197048 (Figure 9-2).

  • International students and workers will make up an increasing share of those holding US science and engineering degrees and will fill more of our workforce.

    • In 2003, foreign students earned 38% of all US doctorates in science and engineering, and they earned 59% of US engineering doctorates.49

    • In 2000, foreign-born workers occupied 38% of all US doctoral-level science and engineering jobs, up from 24% just 10 years earlier.50

Our ability to attract the best international researchers will continue to decline.

  • From 2002 to 2003, 1,300 international students enrolled in US science and engineering graduate programs. In each of the 3 years before that, the number had risen by more than 10,000.51

46

National Science Foundation. Science and Engineering Indicators 2004. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2004. Appendix Table 2-33.

47

R. B. Freeman. Does Globalization of the Scientific/Engineering Workforce Threaten US Economic Leadership? Working Paper 11457. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2005. P. 4.

48

Ibid., p. 5.

49

National Science Foundation. Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2003. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2005.

50

R. B. Freeman. Does Globalization of the Scientific/Engineering Workforce Threaten US Economic Leadership? Working Paper 11457. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2005. P. 36.

51

National Science Foundation. Graduate Enrollment in Science and Engineering Programs Up in 2003, but Declines for First-Time Foreign Students. NSF 05-317. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 2005.



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