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BACKGROUND In considering issues relate to engineers of foreign origin, it is important to ermine all topics of the encr~neerincr personnel arson that are or aid be affect by their infTw`. .. . . _ . .. There are basically tar ~ categories: Foreign -chose who are not U.S. citizens; natural- ized citizens. foreign-born immigrants who have acquired U.S. citizen- ship; and indigenous citizens--those born in the United States. The first two of these groups may be aggregated and represent the total num- ber of foreign-born engineers ~ the system. In industry, government, and universities, questions have been raised about the magnitude arm impacts of both foreign and foreign-born leering go. The foreign (noncitizen) component accounts for only 3.5 percent of employed engineers in the Unity Stab n 1982, With is a slightly mnaller proportion than In 1972. However, the re- verse was the case for naturalized immigrant engineers, as group that grew fan 5 percent In 1972 ~ aft 14 potent In 1982. me larg- est fractions of foreign engineers were explored in 1982 in electrical or electronic engineering and in mechanical engineering, with rep~ntations of about 28 percent and 23 percent, relatively, of all foreign engineers. 6 The most reliable source of data on the foreign engineering labor forge is the National Science Faction ' s (NSF) Postnasal Survey, Rich as use In 1982 to survey a representative sample of the total U.S. science arm ~gineerir~ labor force In 1980. These data are pre- ferer~tially us ~ In this report. The NSF ma ~ s available more ~ cent estimates, which are model-generated and based on updated surveys of the postcensal cohorts and a number of more recent surveys. The lat- t~r, however, miss recent immigrants and some recent yr-=duates of U.S. universities, especially those without U.S. addresses. Where appropri- ate, the latest quantitative information from this mcdel-gene rated ~n- formation base (the latest is for 1984) is presented. It should be noted that most labor-force data refer to engineers employed as engi- neers. These numbers will always be smaller than those for all engi- neers, which include unemployed engineers and those not working in engineering occupations. The definition of "foreign" varies among dif- ferent surveys. Thus, only the NSF data include among foreigners those with "permanent residue" visas. For all other data scarves use In this report, "foreign" is equivalent to "nonresident alien." 9
100 80 40 20 O- . Bachelor's Master's Doctorate C ~ Foreign ' Naturalized U.S. Citizens NOTE: This figure deludes orgy irxlivicluals reporting ~pl~nt In engineering occupations In 1982. SEWS: Special Cations face Oak Ridge Associate Universities, bash on the National Science F~tion's 1982 Pos~nsal Survey. FIGURE 1 Engineers in the U.S. labor force, }fly citizenship status arxl Three level, 1982. The foreign engineering representation varies significantly ac- coramg to degree Ievel. Thus, the representation of foreign engineers becomes increasingly larger for holders of higher college degrees (see Figure 1~. In 1982 the representation was small: 2.4 percent for bacca- laureates, 6.4 percent for master's dies, and 12.6 percent for doc- torates. At the same time, the naturalized (foreign-born citizens) en- gineering population constituted 12 . ~ percent of baccalaureates, 15 . 9 Perot of motes, arm 2 3 . 8 ~t of doctorates . Foreion-born . _ . . . . . . . . . . . . engineers (i. e., naturalized arid noncitizen engineers together) ac- counted in 1982 for 14.5, 22~3, arx] 36.4 pem ent of the holders of bachelor 's, master's, and doctor's ~ ~ , respectively. It is noteworthy that the percentages of noncitizens were about the same a decade earlier, while those of naturalized engineers had doubled since that time. mus, in 1982, the United Stat== depended significantly on the infix ow of foreigners to sunny its engineering labor force, especially at the doctoral level. Although we do not have definitive data for 1986, we suspect that the foreign-born population has benzene larger than In 1982 1 especially at the advance degree level, arm is ncreasmg. ~0
All Fields Chemical Aeronautical Civil Electrical Mechanical Materials Nuclear Industial Other 0 20 4C Percent 0 80 - 100 EM Busi/lndust Education Government Other NOTE: This includes only individuals reporting employment in engine ~- ing occupations in 1982. SOURCES: Special tabulations from Oak Ridge Associated Universities, based on the National Science FounJation's 1982 Postcensal Survey. FIGURE 2 Distribution of foreign engineers, by sector of employment, 1982. If we disaggregate the U.S. work force sector of employment (Fig- ure 2), we Leo that most foreign and foreign-born engineers (82 and 78 percent, respectively) work in industry, as do their native-born ccNn- terparts. Recent surveys indicated that about half of the U.S. firms employing engineers have some foreign engineers among their employees, especially In R&D firms employing eng meets. Only about 9 percent of all of the foreign eng beers and about 4 percent of the naturalized engineers were employed in 1982 in academia, a ~ their proportions among all eng bearing faculty members were about 8 . 5 percent and 17 percent, respectively. The representation of for- eign and naturalized engineers in the universities probably has in- creased ranidlv in recent veers. Among the primary 1982 work activi _ _ _ _ _ including R&D management (36 percent) and design (18 percent). m is distribution was significantly different from that for U.S. citizen engineers, for whom these activi- ties accounted for 24 percent and 13 percent, respectively. , , , ties of foreign ens meers were R&D 11
2800 ~ 1 ~ 2400- ~t3 2000 16OC 1 2OQ 800 400 O - . - - \ `~e'Et it,,. - _ - __ __ U.S. Citizens + Temp. Visas 1970 1972 1974 1976 1978 Year 1980 1982 1984 SOURCE: Unpublished tabulations from the National Rearm Council ' s Doctorate Records File. FIGURE 3 Er~ln~ring doctorates awarded to U. S. citizens and those holding temporary visas, 1970-1985. A ~ rdi ~ to National ~ ear ~ Council data, a high prep ortion new 1985 recipients of eng meering doctorates had temporary visas percent). .. _ a . a of (45 Another 10 percent were on permanent visas. Of the 45 per cent that were U.S. citizens, only ascot ~ percent were naturalized engineers. It should be noted that The proportion of foreigners among new doctorates has risen steadily while the number of U.S. doctorates (indigenous plus naturalize!) has rema Wed level s mce 1976 (Figure 3). Among 1985 engineering master-degree holders, the pro portion of for- eigners was only 27 percent. It is interesting to identify the countries of origin of foreign engineers. IN 1983-84, almost 75 percent of foreign engineering sbu- dents came freon the Far Abet, India, and the Middle Fat, with the Far Easterners and Indians together outnumbering the Minced e Easterners by about 3 to 1 (Figure 4~. 12
3 Otto 7 00°X 30.0°/~/ 1 6.00% 1 SOURCE: Institute for International Eclucation, New York: The Ir~stitute, 1985. ::1 Africa ~l Asia 1~ Europe ~] Latin America [:1 Middle East ~ Other 1 42.00% Profi ~es, 1983/84, IIGURE 4 Foreign eng~n~ring students, by area of origin, 1983-84. 13