of-degree question to assess the validity of the responses provided by respondents. As part of this evaluation, a sample of individuals should be reinterviewed to determine if they do have degrees in the fields reported.

Information about the accuracy of the field-of-degree responses will be helpful in future planning for the NSCG sample. Some number of cases apparently not meeting the criteria of being a scientist or engineer (a non-S&E bachelor’s degree and a non-S&E occupation) will likely need to be drawn in any NSCG sample from an ACS sampling frame both to provide a comparison group and to account for those in non-S&E occupations with a non-S&E bachelor’s degree but an S&E or S&E-related degree at a higher level. Knowledge of error rates for the field-of-degree questions will help NSF and the Census Bureau determine how many such cases would be required.

There may be additional benefits to having the field-of-degree question beyond its immediate help in making the sample more efficient. The field-of-degree question, enhanced by the use of outside information, might, over time, help sharpen the definition of the target population for the survey. This possibility is discussed further in Chapter 7.

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