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career patterns of scientists and engineers

Robert C. Dauffenbach


Rarely does an individual hold just one type of job in his or her career . Instead, a variety of jobs typifies experience. These are jobs that differ in content, requirements, and training needed; that are geographically dispersed; that involve, potentially, changes in employer or industry; and that make varying use of one's specific educational endowments. With jobs that are high in formal educational requirements, mobility in many forms would be expected to be lower. But evidence suggests that even among highly educated scientists and engineering‐trained personnel, mobility is substantial. For example, fewer than one‐half of the US population who hold a bachelor's degree or higher in engineering are working in a science or engineering occupation, including the computer sciences. Only one‐fourth of the math and statistics degree holders and only one‐fifth of the holders of biology degrees work in any science or engineering occupation ( Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council, 1989 ). Even among those educated in science and engineering who are working in a science and engineering occupation, mobility is considerable. One‐fourth of those working in an engineering occupation do not have a degree in engineering. Over one‐half who work in a math/computer occupation do not have a degree in mathematics or computer science. Some of these individuals have less than ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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