National Institute on Aging

For Those With Ph.D.s in STEM Fields, Blacks More Likely to Work in Academia Than Whites

AIR_logo_fullA new study by the American Institutes for Research finds that 39 percent of individuals who hold a Ph.D. in STEM disciplines are employed in the academic world. More than 40 percent of all those with Ph.D.s in STEM fields are not involved in research and development either in the academic sphere or in the nonacademic world.

For African Americans, 49 percent of women and 46 percent of men with Ph.D.s in STEM fields have academic positions. White women with Ph.D.s in STEM fields are just as likely to hold academic posts as similarly educated Black women. But White men with Ph.D.s in STEM fields are more likely than their Black counterparts to work outside academia.

For African Americans, 37 percent of women and 58 percent of men with STEM Ph.D.s work in research in development. Black men are slightly more likely to work in research in development than White men.

The authors of the report conclude that  “Ph.D. students need more skills training that’s instrumental to their careers. Retention in STEM — particularly for underrepresented groups — would improve if Ph.D. training and career guidance are more relevant to the nonacademic sectors most students enter.”

The report, The Nonacademic Careers of Ph.D. STEM Holders, can be downloaded by clicking here.


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