Skip all navigation and go to page content

Chapter 3. Science and Engineering Labor Force


Career path job: A job that helps graduates fulfill their future career plans.

European Union (EU): A union of 27 member states on the continent of Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Federally funded research and development center (FFRDC): An organization that performs research and development and is exclusively or substantially financed by the federal government either to meet a particular research and development objective or, in some instances, to provide major facilities at universities for research and associated training purposes.

Involuntarily out-of-field (IOF) employment: Employment in a job not related to the field of one's highest degree because a job in that field was not available.

Labor force: A subset of the population that includes both those who are employed and those who are not working but seeking work (unemployed); other individuals are not considered to be in the labor force.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): An international organization of 30 countries headquartered in Paris, France. The member countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States. Among its many activities, the OECD compiles social, economic, and science and technology statistics for all member and selected non-member countries.

Postdoc: A temporary position awarded in academia, industry, government, or a nonprofit organization, primarily for gaining additional education and training in research after completion of a doctorate.

SESTAT: Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System, a system of three surveys conducted by the National Science Foundation that measure the educational, occupational, and demographic characteristics of the science and engineering workforce. The three surveys are the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR), and the National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG).

Stay rate: The proportion of students on temporary visas who stay in the United States 1–10 years after receiving a doctorate.

Tertiary education: Roughly equivalent in U.S. terms to individuals who have earned at least technical school or associate's degrees and includes all degrees up to the doctorate.

Workforce: A subset of the labor force that includes only employed individuals.