RECOMMENDATION 5-4: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should develop a suite of indicators that can be used to track the development and diffusion of general-purpose technologies, including information and communication technologies, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and green technologies. NCSES should attempt to make greater use of data from the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey for this purpose while also exploring the use of other sources, such as patent and bibliometric data.

Chapter 6: Measuring Human Capital—Recommendations

RECOMMENDATION 6-1: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should do more to exploit existing longitudinal data. Specifically, NCSES should exploit the longitudinal panel structure of the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) in the following ways:

  • create indicators of researcher mobility over time, by constructing longitudinal weights for the SDR that take account of changes in the sample and target population over time—these weights should be constructed both for subsequent survey cycles and for existing data;
  • create a dynamic database for researcher use in which data from the SDR over time would be linked at the level of the individual; and
  • enhance coverage of recent doctorate recipients to better track their initial employment and career path in the first years after they receive their Ph.D, which could potentially be accomplished by including an additional module in the SDR or by exploiting that survey’s longitudinal capacities or both.

RECOMMENDATION 6-2: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should draw on the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program (occupations) and the Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study (education levels) to create indicators of labor mobility. NCSES should focus in particular on industries that have been experiencing high growth and/or those in which the United States has a strong competitive advantage. Also relevant would be examining skill sets of firms with high growth.

RECOMMENDATION 6-3: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should provide indicators for individual science, technology, engineering, and mathematics groups such as early-career doctorate recipients, master’s degree holders, and community college graduates. NCSES already distinguishes between bachelor’s and master’s degree holders in many of its statistics. Stay rates at different education levels by demographic characteristics such as gender, race/ethnicity, disability, and country of origin should be included.

RECOMMENDATION 6-4: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should explore whether questions can be included in the National Survey of College Graduates and the American Community Survey that would allow the identification of community college graduates or of holders of higher university degrees who have attended a community college.

RECOMMENDATION 6-5: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should explore methods for exploiting the full-text resources of dissertation databases to create indicators on selected topics both within and across scientific fields and on the relatedness of different fields.

RECOMMENDATION 6-6: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should consider using American Community Survey data to produce indicators that can be used to track the salaries of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics occupations and/or college graduates receiving degrees in different fields and at different degree levels.

RECOMMENDATION 6-7: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics should consider adding questions to the Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey on the types of skill sets used by businesses to develop and implement innovations. The results would provide data on and indicators of innovative firms’ demand for skills.

Chapter 7: A Paradigm Shift in Data Collection and Analysis—Recommendations

RECOMMENDATION 7-1: The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) should use research awards to support



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