Earth and Space Science Ph.D. Class of 2003 Report released

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Abstract

AGU and the American Geological Institute (AGI) released on 26 July an employment study of 180 Earth and space science Ph.D. recipients who received degrees from U.S. universities in 2003. The AGU/AGI survey asked graduates about their education and employment, efforts to find their first job after graduation, and experiences in graduate school. Key results from the study include: The vast majority (87%) of 2003 graduates found work in the Earth and space sciences, earning salaries commensurate with or slightly higher than 2001 and 2002 salary averages. Most (64%) graduates were employed within academia (including postdoctoral appointments), with the remainder in government (19%), industry (10%), and other (7%) sectors. Most graduates were positive about their employment situation and found that their work was challenging, relevant, and appropriate for someone with a Ph.D. The percentage of Ph.D. recipients accepting postdoctoral positions (58%) increased slightly from 2002. In contrast, the fields of physics and chemistry showed significant increases in postdoctoral appointments for Ph.D.s during the same time period. As in previous years, recipients of Ph.D.s in the Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences (median age of 32.7 years) are slightly older than Ph.D. recipients in most other natural sciences (except computer sciences), which is attributed to time taken off between undergraduate and graduate studies. Women in the Earth, atmospheric,and ocean sciences earned 33% of Ph.D.s in the class of 2003, surpassing the percentage of Ph.D.s earned by women in chemistry (32%) and well ahead of the percentage in computer sciences (20%), physics (19%), and engineering (17%). Participation of other underrepresented groups in the Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences remained extremely low.

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