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OCR for page 17
Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States Government Support Status In 1995, 28 percent of employed science and engineering doctorates received support from the federal government 3 in the form of contracts or grants (see Table 16 ). Doctorates in physics/astronomy were most likely to receive government support, 47 percent, while doctorates in social sciences and psychology were least likely (18 and 16 percent, respectively). The agencies most frequently cited as the sources of support were the National Institutes of Health (30 percent), the Department of Defense (22 percent), and the National Science Foundation (20 percent) (see Table 17 ). By sector, the proportion receiving support was highest in private not-for-profit organizations, 44 percent, followed by educational institutions, 40 percent (see Table 18 ). Relationship of Principal Job to Doctoral Degree Science and engineering doctorates were asked about the relationship between their principal job and their doctoral field as one measure of the link between education and careers. Overall, 68 percent of science and engineering doctorates indicated that their jobs were closely related to their doctoral degrees, 24 percent said their jobs were somewhat related, and 8 percent said their jobs were not related to their degrees (see Table 19 ). Doctorates in computer sciences, psychology, and health sciences had the highest proportions reporting that their job was closely related to their doctoral education (between 79 and 81 percent). Doctorates in physics/astronomy most frequently reported that their jobs and education were not related (15 percent), followed by doctorates in chemistry, 11 percent. Of those science and engineering doctorates whose jobs were not related to their doctoral degrees, 29 percent said the most important reason for working outside their field was a change in career or professional interests. For 27 percent, “job in doctoral degree field not available” was the most important reason for working out of field, and 22 percent cited pay or promotion opportunities as the most important reason (see Table 20 ). 3 Federal employees were instructed to answer “No” to this question and are therefore excluded from the proportions shown receiving support.
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Doctoral Scientists and Engineers in the United States FIGURE 8. Science and engineering Ph.D.s, by relationship of job to doctoral field, 1995.