the data elements collected in the NSRCG benefit the analytical community. However, there is some indication that NSRCG data are useful for employers and government to understand and predict trends in graduate school enrollment, employment opportunities, and salaries for recent graduates in S&E fields.

Part of the reason that there are so few uses of the survey data has to do with limitations in the design of the NSRCG. It is essentially a repeated cross-sectional survey so the NSRCG has limited utility for longitudinal analysis. NSF is not able to follow the respondents over time because of the loss of cases from sampling down of NSRCG cases in subsequent survey rounds and the practice of dropping of cases when the individual earns another eligible degree after the degree for which they were sampled for the NSRCG.

To the extent that data on this population are needed, there appear to be other options. For example, the NCES has a longitudinal survey of recent graduates, Baccalaureate and Beyond (B&B), which follows a cohort of master’s and bachelor’s degree recipients for a few years. A new B&B cohort is started about once a decade. B&B surveys recent graduates in all fields, with a particular focus on studying those who enter and remain in teaching at the K-12 level. The amount of analysis that is possible with B&B data for detailed S&E fields is currently limited by small sample sizes.7


The 2000 cohort for the B&B survey numbered only about 10,000 sample cases; for details, see [accessed February 2008].

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