Concerns are growing over the steadily increasing numbers of science and engineering doctorates granted by U.S. universities and the job market’s ability to absorb them, according to an article from ChemistryWorld. Universities awarded more doctorates in 2014 – 54,070 – than in the nearly 60 years since the National Science Foundation began keeping track. In the 20 years between 1994 and 2014, according to the article, engineering doctorates rose more than 64% and life sciences doctorates grew by about 60%. The growth in U.S. chemistry PhDs was slower, rising 18%
Some experts believe the rise in S&E doctorates simply reflects demographic changes over the past two decades. Still, job prospects for these newly minted doctorates may not keep pace. According to the article, the supply and demand imbalance is also attributable to a convergence of events including more people pursuing an advanced degree during the recession of 2008 and its depressed job market, industry outsourcing and professors continuing to actively research rather than retire.
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