Sixty-one percent of STEM PhDs pursue non-academic careers

A new study published by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) finds that sixty-one percent of STEM PhDs pursue non-academic careers. The findings suggest that non-academic careers are the new normal for PhDs, and throw into question the manner in which graduate students experience professional development. According to the study:

“More than half of all male graduates report working in research and development, while 43 percent of white females and 37 percent of black females perform research and development work.”

The Study also found that:

“The for-profit sector tends to be the largest employer of those with a STEM Ph.D. working outside of academia, with one exception: Black women are overwhelmingly more likely to work in government (50 percent).

Most women in nonacademic careers have Ph.D.’s in the biological sciences (48 percent) compared with other fields. Most men have doctoral degrees in engineering (37 percent). This pattern exists across all racial groups.

Black, Hispanic, and white women are more likely to leave STEM compared with other groups in nonacademic careers. About 28 percent these women work in non-STEM fields, compared with Asian men (16 percent), Asian women (18 percent), Hispanic men (18 percent), black men (21 percent) and white men (21 percent).”

The full results of the study may be found at: