For Ph.D.s in STEM Fields, Blacks Are More Likely Than Whites to Have Non-STEM Careers

AIR_logo_fullA new study by the American Institutes for Research finds that one of every six students who graduate with a Ph.D. in a STEM discipline pursues a career in a non-STEM field. For Blacks with doctorates in STEM fields, one in five pursues a career path outside STEM.

The study used a National Science Foundation sample of more than 425,000 doctoral recipients who earned their degrees between 1959 and 2010. More than three quarters of the sample earned their doctorates more than a decade ago.

Dr. Lori Turk-Bicakci, senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research and lead author of the study, stated that “the STEM community is losing contributions to scientific and technological discovery. This brain drain restricts potential advantages gained from diverse perspectives and the availability of role models for underrepresented groups.”

The study, Leaving STEM: STEM Ph.D. Holders in Non-STEM Careers, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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