The U.S. National Science Foundation reported that more recipient of doctorate degrees in the last school year had employment plans after graduation.

The federal agency released a batch of data recently as part of the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates or SED. The report is a census of individuals across the United States who received a research doctoral degree from an accredited academic institution.

The report was published on the website of the U.S. National Science Foundation.

PhD Recipient Postgraduation Employment Report

More than two-thirds of the recipients of PhD already had a job lined up after graduation, the report revealed. The number is significantly higher in the academic year (2016-2017) across all fields compared to the 2015-2016 academic year.

The number of recipients with a firm employment plan after graduation has been in decline since 2001 in the broad fields of science and engineering, but the proportions hit low points from 2014 to 2016.

The report also revealed that 46 percent of all the PhD recipients with firm employment plans after graduation said that their principal job would be in the academe.

More PhD Graduates

For the academic year 2016-2017, a total of 41,438 scientists and engineers across the country were granted their doctorate degrees — that is 76 percent of the total number of doctorates granted across all fields.

Women received the most number of PhDs in the life sciences, making up 55 percent of all graduates, and in psychology and the social sciences, accounting for 59 percent of all doctorate recipients. However, women are still the minority in the fields of physical sciences and earth sciences, mathematics and computer sciences, and engineering.

The proportions, however, seems to be improving. The National Science Foundation reports that the total number of individuals who have been awarded doctorate degrees have been increasing over the years. Even in male-dominated fields, there has been a steady increase of women graduating with a doctorate degree in the past two decades.

For example, in engineering programs, the percentage of women graduating with doctorate degrees recently nearly doubled compared to the 1997-1998 academic year.

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