developmental engineering and civil engineering, technical degree holders in other career fields have declined notably over the past 14 years. Communications and information dropped 9 percentage points, and logistics dropped 10 percentage points. Of particular concern to this study is the large decline in acquisition and contracting from 65 percent to 40 percent. Incidentally, although they lack specific requirements for technical degrees, two career fields whose importance has increased recently also suffered rather large declines. The first is space and missiles, in which technical-degreed officers declined by 9 percentage points.8 The second is intelligence, which has been facing sweeping challenges related to cyberspace and cybersecurity issues; the technical-degreed officers in this field declined by 4 percentage points from an already low level.

Figure 2-2 shows that the inventory of officers with technical degrees in the Air Force is not confined to the career fields requiring a STEM degree. Sizable populations that may qualify as STEM-degreed are present in other career fields.

FIGURE 2-2 Percentage of Officers with Technical Degrees by Career Field. Note that not all technical degrees as defined by this source are STEM degrees. Dev. Engineer = developmental engineer; Comms/info = communications/information officer; maint. = maintenance; Space/missile = space or missile operations officer. SOURCE: Col. James D. Fisher, Chief, Engineering and Technical Management Division, SAF/AQRE, briefing to the committee on August 26, 2008.

FIGURE 2-2 Percentage of Officers with Technical Degrees by Career Field. Note that not all technical degrees as defined by this source are STEM degrees. Dev. Engineer = developmental engineer; Comms/info = communications/information officer; maint. = maintenance; Space/missile = space or missile operations officer. SOURCE: Col. James D. Fisher, Chief, Engineering and Technical Management Division, SAF/AQRE, briefing to the committee on August 26, 2008.

8

Point of information regarding decline in the space and missile career field: The 13S career field was created in 1994. All specific education requirements for specific STEM education were removed and replaced with less inclusive requirements.



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