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P h .D .
S c i e n t i s t s

a n d

E n g i n e e r s in
P r i v a te

I n d u s t r y

1 9 6 8 - 8 0

Bulletin 1648
U.S. D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
1970




2 1 /Q
9
0ocm H T c o m

m

*




P h .D .
S c i e n t i s t s

a n d

E n g i n e e r s in
P r i v a t e I n d u s t r y
1 9 6 8 - 8 0

Bulletin 1648
1970
U.S. D E P A R T M E N T O F L A B O R

George R Shultz, Secretary

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
Geoffrey H. Moore, Commissioner

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 2 0 4 0 2 - Price 3 0 cents







PREFACE

T h is r e p o r t p r e s e n ts th e r e s u lts o f a s t u d y o f th e f a c to r s in f lu e n c in g .m a n p o w e r r e q u ir e m e n ts
in p riv a te i n d u s t r y f o r s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs h o ld in g d o c to r a l d e g re e s . I t a ls o p r e s e n ts illu s tr a ­
tiv e p r o je c tio n s o f 1 9 8 0 e m p l o y m e n t r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r th e s e w o r k e r s . T h e s t u d y w a s c o n d u c t e d
in 1 9 6 8 b y th e B u re a u o f L a b o r S ta tis tic s w i t h s u p p o r t f r o m t h e N a tio n a l S c ie n c e F o u n d a t io n .
T h e r e p o r t w a s p r e p a r e d b y M ic h a e l F . C r o w le y , w i t h t h e a s s is ta n c e o f D a n ie l H e c k e r in th e
B u r e a u ’s D iv is io n o f M a n p o w e r a n d O c c u p a tio n a l O u t l o o k u n d e r th e d i r e c ti o n o f N e a l H . R o s e n th a l.
E lin o r A b r a m s o n , M a x in e B o th , K e v in K a s u n ic , J e r r y K u r s b a n , a n d D o u g la s S c h m u d e p a r tic ip a te d
in th e in te r v ie w p h a s e o f th e s tu d y .
A s s is ta n c e f r o m th e N a tio n a l S c ie n c e F o u n d a t io n w a s p r o v id e d b y N o r m a n S e ltz e r a n d J o e l
B a rrie s o f th e F o u n d a t i o n ’s O ffic e o f E c o n o m ic a n d M a n p o w e r S tu d ie s .




iii

CONTENTS

Page
I n t r o d u c t i o n .............................................................................................................................................................................
H i g h l i g h t s ..................................................................................................................................................................................

1

2

C h a p te r I . C u r r e n t e m p l o y m e n t ...................................................................................................................
C u r r e n t s h o r t a g e s ........................................................................................................................................................
S o u rc e s o f P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g i n e e r s ....................................................................................
N e w P h . D . r e c i p i e n t s ...................................................................................................................................
E x p e r ie n c e d P h . D .’s ........................................................................................................................................
E x p e r ie n c e d P h . D .’s v s. n e w g r a d u a t e s .........................................................................................
H o w P h . D .’s a re r e c r u i t e d ..............................................................................................................................
H irin g i n d u c e m e n t s ..............................................................................................................................................

8

C h a p te r I I . R e q u i r e m e n t s ........................................................................................................................................
F a c to r s a f fe c tin g r e q u i r e m e n t s .........................................................................................................................
R e s e a r c h a n d d e v e l o p m e n t .........................................................................................................................
L e v e l o f R & D a c t i v i t y ...................................................................................................................................
N a tu r e o f R & D a c t i v i t y ..............................................................................................................................
O th e r f a c t o r s .............................................................................................................................................................
E s tim a te s o f 1 9 8 0 r e q u i r e m e n t s ...................................................................................................................

9
10
10
10
10
11
11

3
4
5
5
6

7
7

,u

A p p e n d ix e s :
A . C o v e ra g e a n d d e f i n i t i o n s .........................................................................................................................
B . I n t e r v i e w s .............................................................................................................................................................
T a b le s :
1. E s tim a te d e m p l o y m e n t o f P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs in p r iv a te
i n d u s t r y , b y o c c u p a tio n a l g r o u p a n d r e s e a r c h a n d d e v e lo p m e n t
a c tiv itie s , 1 9 6 8 .............................................................................................................................................
2 . I llu s tr a tiv e p r o je c tio n s o f 1 9 8 0 r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d
e n g in e e rs in p r iv a te i n d u s t r y , b y o c c u p a tio n a l g r o u p ................................................




IV

14
15

3
13

IN TR O D U C T IO N

E x te n s iv e a n a ly tic a l w o r k h a s b e e n c o n d u c t e d t o e s tim a te p r iv a te i n d u s t r y ’s m a n p o w e r
r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r a ll s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs , b u t l it t le r e s e a rc h h a s b e e n d o n e o n th e f a c to r s
in f lu e n c in g th e in d u s t r y n e e d fo r o n e s e g m e n t o f th is p r o f e s s io n a l g r o u p — s c ie n tis ts a n d e n ­
g in e e rs h o ld in g a d o c to r a l d e g re e . O n ly lim ite d r e s e a r c h h a s b e e n c o n d u c t e d o n th e h ir in g
a n d r e c r u i tm e n t p r a c tic e s o f e m p lo y e r s o f P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs . T h is r e p o r t p r e ­
s e n ts th e r e s u lts o f r e s e a r c h i n to P h . D . m a n p o w e r r e q u ir e m e n ts , in c lu d in g illu s tr a tiv e p r o ­
je c t io n s o f p r iv a te i n d u s t r y ’s 1 9 8 0 e m p l o y m e n t r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r th e s e h ig h ly t r a in e d w o r k e r s .
I t is d e s ig n e d t o a id o ffic ia ls re s p o n s ib le f o r d e v e lo p in g n a ti o n a l p o lic ie s c o n c e r n in g th e F e d e r a l
G o v e r n m e n t’s s u p p o r t o f g r a d u a te s c ie n c e e d u c a ti o n , a n d o t h e r s c o n c e r n e d w i t h m a n p o w e r
a n d th e t r a in in g o f P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs .
T h is s t u d y is b a s e d p r im a r ily o n i n f o r m a t io n g a th e r e d f r o m in te r v ie w s w ith o ffic ia ls o f
a p p r o x im a te ly 7 0 c o m p a n ie s . T h e c o m p a n ie s in te r v ie w e d w e re l o c a te d in a ll a re a s o f th e
U n ite d S ta te s a n d r e p r e s e n te d a ll m a jo r in d u s tr ie s e m p lo y in g s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs , in c lu d in g
th o s e w ith la rg e r e s e a rc h a n d d e v e lo p m e n t p r o g r a m s . T h e y e m p lo y e d a p p r o x im a te ly 3 5 t o 4 0
p e r c e n t o f a ll P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs w o r k in g in p r iv a te i n d u s t r y . H o w e v e r, t h e v is ite d
c o m p a n ie s d o n o t r e p r e s e n t a s c ie n tif ic s a m p le o f e m p lo y e r s o f P h . D .’s in p r iv a te i n d u s t r y .
I t w o u ld n o t h a v e b e e n p o s s ib le t o c o n d u c t in te r v ie w s w ith th e c o m p a n ie s b y fo llo w in g s tr ic t
s a m p lin g p r o c e d u r e s w i t h o u t s ig n if ic a n tly g r e a te r e x p e n d itu r e s o v e r a lo n g e r p e r io d o f tim e .




1

H IG H L IG H TS

A lm o s t 3 6 ,0 0 0 s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs h o ld in g a d o c to r a l d e g re e w e re e m p lo y e d in
p r iv a te i n d u s t r y in 1 9 6 8 . A b o u t 8 o u t o f e v e ry 1 0 w e re e n g a g e d in r e s e a r c h a n d d e v e lo p m e n t
(R & D ) a c tiv itie s . O f th e s e , m o s t w e re e n g a g e d in r e s e a rc h .
O n ly a s m a ll n u m b e r o f j o b o p e n in g s f o r P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs w e re n o t fille d
in m id - 1 9 6 8 . T h e fe w f irm s e x p e r ie n c in g h ir in g p r o b le m s d id n o t fe e l th e p r o b le m w a s a c u te
t o th e e x t e n t t h a t o p e r a tio n a l o r p l a n n e d p ro g r a m s s u f f e r e d .
N e w P h . D . r e c ip ie n ts w e re t h e p r im a r y s o u r c e o f P h . D . s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs e n t e r ­
in g p r iv a te in d u s t r y in 1 9 6 8 . O n ly a lim ite d n u m b e r w e re b e in g h ir e d d ir e c tly f r o m p o s itio n s
in c o lle g e s a n d u n iv e r s itie s , G o v e r n m e n t, o r n o n p r o f i t o r g a n iz a tio n s .
N e a rly a ll f irm s t h a t e m p lo y a la rg e n u m b e r o f P h . D .’s ( 5 0 o r m o r e ) h a d a w e ll p l a n n e d
p r o g r a m f o r P h . D . r e c r u itin g in 1 9 6 8 . I n s o m e c a s e s a s t a f f m e m b e r h a d fu ll-tim e r e s p o n s i­
b i li t y f o r r e c r u itin g P h . D .’s.
I n te r e s tin g a n d c h a lle n g in g w o r k in th e a re a o f a n in d iv id u a l’s p a r tic u la r fie ld w a s g iv e n
b y e m p lo y e r s a s th e m a jo r c r it e r i o n d e te r m in in g a P h . D .’s c h o ic e o f e m p lo y e r . S a la ry w a s a
f a c t o r o n ly w h e n i t w a s b e lo w a v e ra g e . A c o m m o n p r o b le m r e p o r te d b y m a n y o f t h e firm s
in te r v ie w e d w a s t h a t r e c e n t P h . D . r e c i p ie n t ’s h a d t o b e c o n v in c e d t h a t p r iv a te in d u s t r y o f f e rs
o p p o r t u n it i e s f o r g o o d r e s e a rc h .
C o m p a n y o ffic ia ls i n d ic a te d t h a t in d u s tr ia l firm s t h in k in te r m s o f P h . D . m a n p o w e r
n e e d s , a n d t h a t th e c o n c e p t o f r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r P h . D .’s c a n b e d is c u s s e d m e a n in g f u lly in
q u a n ti t a t i v e te r m s . P riv a te i n d u s t r y ’s jo b r e q u ir e m e n ts d o n o t , h o w e v e r, c o r r e s p o n d e x a c tly
t o le v e ls o f a c a d e m ic t r a in in g — b a c h e lo r ’s d e g re e , m a s te r ’s d e g r e e , a n d d o c to r a l d e g r e e —
m a in ly b e c a u s e w o r k e x p e r ie n c e a n d p e r s o n a l q u a litie s a ls o a re i m p o r t a n t c o n s id e r a tio n s .
T h e le v e l o f r e s e a r c h a n d d e v e lo p m e n t a c tiv itie s a n d th e m ix b e tw e e n r e s e a r c h a n d .
d e v e lo p m e n t a re t h e k e y f a c to r s d e te r m in in g p riv a te i n d u s t r y ’s r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r P h . D .
s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs . F o r w o r k o u ts id e o f R & D , m o s t c o m p a n ie s d id n o t i d e n t i f y a
s p e c ific n e e d f o r P h . D .’s.
B e tw e e n 1 9 6 8 a n d 1 9 8 0 , r e q u ir e m e n ts f o r s c ie n tis ts a n d e n g in e e rs h o ld in g th e P h . D .
d e g re e in p r iv a te in d u s t r y a re p r o je c te d t o in c re a s e b y m o r e t h a n 5 0 p e r c e n t, f r o m 3 5 ,8 0 0 in
1 9 6 8 t o 5 5 ,0 0 0 in 1 9 8 0 .

2




Chapter

I

CU RREN T EM PLOYM ENT

In 1968, about 36,000 scientists and engineers holding the doctorate were employed in
private industry in the United States. A little more than half were physical scientists, but less
than 1,000 were mathematicians. (See table 1.)
Table 1. Estimated employment of Ph. D. scientists and engineers in private industry,
by occupational group and research and development activities, 1968
Occupational group

Total

R&D activities

Total.............................

35,800

28,300

Engineers.................................
Mathematicians ........................
Physical scientists......................
Life scientists............................

12,800
800
19,500
2,800

9,600
600
15,900
2,200

NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.

Scientists and engineers holding a doctorate and employed in private industry accounted
for roughly one-third of the Nation’s total employment of scientists and engineers with a
doctorate. 1 More than half of the total were employed by colleges and universities. The
remainder were employed by Federal, State, and local government or by nonprofit organizations.
Among engineering and the various science occupations, the proportions employed in the
private sector varies considerably. For example, according to the National Science Foundation’s
N ational R egister o f Scientific and Technical Personnel, about 10 percent of all life scientists,
1 This estimate is based primarily on data in American Science Manpower, 1966 (National Science
Foundation, Washington, D.C.); The Backgrounds and Early Careers o f Engineering Doctorate Recipients
(National Academy of Sciences—National Academy of Engineering, Washington, D.C.); Profiles o f Ph. D. ’s
In The Sciences (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., Publication 1293); and Doctorate
Recipients From United States Universities, 1958-66 (National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.).




3

15 percent of all mathematicians, and 40 percent of all physical scientists with Ph. D. degrees
were employed in private industry in 1968. It is also estimated that between 40 percent and
50 percent of all engineers having Ph. D. degrees were employed in private industry.
The great majority of Ph. D. scientists and engineers, about 80 percent, were engaged in
the performance or management of research and development (R&D) activities, according to a
special survey of Ph. D. scientists and engineers employed in private industry in 1968 conducted
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The proportion in R&D, however, was even greater among
the companies interviewed, except in the chemicals industry where company officials indicated
a significant proportion were in activities other than R&D such as technical sales and adminis­
tration. Ph. D. scientists and engineers were concentrated more heavily in R&D than other
scientists and engineers. Only an estimated 35 to 40 percent of all scientists and engineers in
private industry were in R&D activities.
Within the broad area of research and development, most of these highly trained workers
were engaged in research rather than development activities, according to information collected
during interviews with company officials. This is buttressed by data from the National Science
Foundation’s N ational Register o f Scientific and Technical Personnel which indicates that
about 80 percent of all Ph. D. scientists in R&D were performing research; and a recent study
conducted by the American Society for Engineering Education which shows that a greater num­
ber of Ph. D. engineers work in research rather than development. 2
Of those Ph. D. scientists and engineers not engaged in research and development, some
were involved with general management and administration. Most company officials interviewed
felt that the possession of a doctorate in science or engineering did not preclude an individual
from being a candidate for promotion to managerial positions. Ph. D. scientists and engineers,
however, were not sought for top level management jobs to any greater extent than workers with
less education in the companies interviewed. For the most part, companies indicated that
Ph. D.’s were hired to do research not administration. In companies deeply involved in advanced
technology, however, the extensive technical background of the Ph. D. was considered to be
valuable in management positions, and in some companies interviewed top management positions
were filled by scientists or engineers holding a doctorate.
A few Ph. D. scientists and engineers were engaged in sales, production activities, recruit­
ment, and liaison work below the management level.
Current shortages

Only a small number of openings for Ph. D. scientists and engineers in private industry were
unfilled in mid-1968. These positions were primarily in narrow specialties; for example, electro­
chemistry and metallurgical physics. Most respondents felt that a relative balance of supply and
demand existed at the time of the interviews. Among the company officials interviewed who did
feel there was an overall shortage of Ph. D.’s, more than half represented companies that were not
experiencing any hiring problems. The few that were experiencing hiring difficulties did not feel
that the problem was acute to the extent that planned programs were suffering. In contrast, a few
2 See “Characteristics of Engineers With Advanced Degrees,” Journal o f Engineering Education,

Volume 58, Number 5, January 1968, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, D.C.

4




firms hinted at an overall surplus of Ph. D. scientists and engineers; several firms mentioned that
more than enough Ph. D. chemists were available.
Based on their recruiting experience, several firms indicated that Ph. D.’s have been more
available relative to demand during the last few years than during the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
Among the major reasons given for this situation were: (1) A decline in the rate of growth of
R&D activities in industry, (2) a rapid increase in Ph. D. degrees awarded, and (3) a cutback in
Federal funds for R&D at colleges and universities.
Sources of Ph. D. scientists and engineers

New Ph. D. recipients and those completing a post doctoral program are the primary source
of Ph. D. scientists and engineers entering private industry. Firms indicated that only a limited
number of Ph. D.’s were hired directly from positions in colleges and universities, Government, or
nonprofit organizations. Persons receiving degrees abroad are another source of Ph. D. scientists
and engineers. According to the National Register of Scientific and Technical Personnel, however,
only about 8 percent of the doctorate holders in private industry received their degrees abroad,
including immigrants and U.S. citizens who studied overseas.
N ew Ph. D. recipients. The primary factor that determines the level of new Ph. D. scien­
tists and engineers available to private industry is the number of doctoral degrees awarded in these
fields. In addition to the overall number of doctoral degrees awarded, the distribution of these
degrees among the various specialties is also important to the available supply. Many firms indi­
cated Ph. D.’s were hired because the company wanted experts in specialized fields. Some firms
indicated that no particular value would arise from hiring a Ph. D. if he were to work outside the
area of his specialty. Very few firms indicated they employ individuals in science and engineer­
ing jobs who hold doctorates in fields other than science or engineering.
In some cases company officials indicated an overlapping of fields, such as between chem­
istry and chemical engineering. Thus, even though the work is of a specialized nature, individuals
from one or more disciplines might be hired to fill a particular job. Despite the desire for spe­
cialists, some firms, when an individual with the proper specialization is not found, consider it
advantageous to employ a Ph. D. whose training is in another discipline. Furthermore, an indi­
vidual already employed by a firm gradually might cross over from one field to another because
of changing interests. To determine how much crossover actually occurred, firms were asked
whether they had Ph. D.’s working in an occupational group (engineering, physical science, life
science, mathematics) other than the one in which they were trained. Most firms indicated that
the number actually working outside the occupational group of their degree was small, even it a
narrow definition of the field (that is, chemistry and physics within physical science) was used.
The small amount of shifting was attributed basically to the highly specialized nature of the
Ph. D.’s work which requires long years of training. Ph. D.’s, therefore, are reluctant to leave a
field after investing years of study in it.
Private industry must compete for the available supply of Ph. D.’s with colleges and uni­
versities, Government, and nonprofit organizations. In 1966, only about one-fourth of all new
science and engineering Ph. D.’s entered private industry for their first job after receiving their




5

doctorate. 3 About twice as many, or about half of the Ph. D. recipients entered employment
in colleges and universities. About 15 percent entered Government service or worked for nonprofit
organizations. The first job of about 10 percent of those receiving Ph. D. degrees in natural science
and engineering was with a foreign employer. Most of these were probably foreign nationals who
returned to their home countries.
Some trends in the proportion of new doctorate recipients entering various employment sec­
tors were apparent over the 1958-66 period. From 1958 to 1966, the proportion whose first em­
ployment was in private industry declined, despite employer indications that supply-demand condi­
tions for Ph. D. scientists and engineers in private industry has become more favorable in recent
years. In contrast, the proportion whose first post-doctoral employment was with a college or
university increased over the period, in large part because an increasing proportion of doctorate
recipients have taken postdoctoral fellowships and because research contracts awarded to univer­
sities increased rapidly in the 1958-66 period. However, some firms indicated that during the few
months preceding the interviews (early 1968), an increasing number of new Ph. D. scientists and
engineers were seeking employment in private industry, a situation which was attributed directly
to a cutback in Federal Government research funds available to universities.
The decline in the proportion of Ph. D. science graduates entering employment in private
industry is reflected in the data in the N ational R egister o f Scientific and Technical Personnel.
Between 1958 and 1966, the proportion of all Ph. D.’s, listed in the register as employed in pri­
vate industry declined from about 33 percent to slightly more than 29 percent. The proportion
employed in colleges and universities increased during this period.
Many firms interviewed felt that recent Ph. D. graduates were more inclined to teach or do
research at a college or university than to work in private industry. According to company offi­
cials, new graduates feel that research conducted in private industry is not as “scientific” or
“challenging” as university research. Although firms felt that research in industry is on a plane
with that conducted in academic institutions, it is often difficult to convince new graduates of
this. However, since most firms indicated that they are meeting their needs, it appears that they
have been successful in convincing graduates of the merits of private industry research.
Experienced Ph. D. ’s. Most experienced Ph. D.’s who were hired by the firms interviewed
had been employed by other companies in the private sector of the economy. The number of
Ph. D. scientists and engineers employed in academe who shift to private industry employment
is relatively small, according to the interview data. In the opinion of industry officials, most
Ph. D.’s find academic life attractive and are not interested in seeking a job in private industry.
This fact, combined with the reluctance of firms to actively recruit faculty members for fear of
creating ill will at the university that could seriously damage their overall recruiting efforts, has
led to relatively few hirings from academe. However, the same factors that make academic life
attractive to those already on university faculties also causes some Ph. D.’s in private industry to
shift to academic employment. On net balance, therefore, whatever flow exists of experienced
Ph. D. scientists and engineers is believed to be from industry toward college and university
faculties. 4
3 Based on data in Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities, 1958-66 (National Academy
of Sciences, Washington, D.C.), 1967.
4 See, for example, The Mobile Professor by David G. Brown, American Council on Education, Wash­
ington, D.C., 1967.
6




Little information was obtained on employment shifts between private industry and Govern­
ment and nonprofit organizations. However, the net number of shifts is believed to be relatively
small and probably has little effect on the overall supply-demand conditions for Ph. D. scientists
and engineers in private industry.
A few firms indicated that some experienced Ph. D.’s were hired to work in fields other than
those in which they were trained. Some of these shifts were due to the overlap of certain fields;
therefore, a move from one field to another did not involve a major shift in the type of work per­
formed. The few firms that did employ Ph. D.’s in work quite different from that in which they
were trained felt that Ph. D.’s could assimilate new knowledge rapidly, and that their research
skills were applicable over a wide range of fields. However, firms with this feeling were the excep­
tion rather than the rule.
Experienced Ph. D. ’s vs. new graduates. Many firms felt that experienced Ph. D.’s were
more productive in a shorter period after being hired than new graduates. Also, in research pro­
jects with specific objectives, an experienced Ph. D. would be more likely to achieve results within
a shorter time span. Some firms indicated that when the firm entered a new area of research, it
was particularly desirable to hire a Ph. D. with experience in that area.
Firms with a preference for new graduates indicated that recent graduates are more inclined
to be familiar with the most recent thinking and discoveries in a particular field. In addition
experienced Ph. D. holders may have little or no experience in some new areas of work.
Most firms hired both new graduates and experienced workers, the majority of hirings being
new Ph. D. graduates. Individual firm responses ranged from hiring only new graduates to hiring
only experienced workers. The only identifiable difference in hiring patterns of experienced
workers vs. new graduates by industry, size of firms, or number of Ph. D.’s employed was in firms
engaged in defense and aerospace work. In these firms many new workers were experienced
Ph. D.’s. This did not indicate a preference among defense contractors for experienced Ph. D.’s,
but rather an apparently large turnover rate resulting from shifting defense contracts.
How Ph. D/s are recruited

Nearly all firms that employ a large number of Ph. D.’s (50 or more) have a well planned
program for Ph. D. recruiting. Several firms employed a staff member whose full-time responsi­
bility is recruiting Ph. D.’s. Some firms combine Ph. D. recruiting with that for other advanced
degree personnel or senior staff. Nearly all firms conducted their recruiting for Ph. D.’s and senior
level staff separately from other recruiting activities.
Ph. D. recruiting generally is a year-round operation. For many firms successful recruiting
was noted to be generally dependent on developing ties and lines of communication between
company staff and university faculty, graduate students, and Ph. D.’s employed in other firms.
Staff members in most firms are encouraged to attend conferences, participate in seminars, pub­
lish articles, and present papers which, in addition to promoting professional development and
enhancing the firm’s reputation in the scientific community, promotes the development of
personal relationships that prove valuable in locating and attracting high level staff members.
For example, these activities provide staff members with an opportunity to inform faculty mem­
bers and graduate students about the types of work the firm is performing so that interested per­
sons can be recruited. Also, through these activities, the firm can determine which universities
are training Ph. D.’s in areas of interest to them.
7




Recruitment of new graduates is conducted primarily through visits to the universities by
staff Ph. D. scientists or engineers, or non-Ph. D. senior project leaders. In some cases the com­
panies obtain the names of prospective employees through faculty members; in other cases they
obtain them through referral of graduate students by present staff members. Some firms have
a program of hiring graduate students during summer vacations. In cases where graduate students
have worked for the firm during summer vacation, a hiring committment may be made before the
degree is obtained.
Companies generally use a combination of methods for recruiting experienced Ph. D.’s;
for example, advertising in professional journals or newspapers, employment agencies and referrals
by currently employed scientists and engineers, and by referral services operated by professional
associations. The effectiveness of each type of recruiting varied. Some companies indicated
that each was an effective method, and others indicated that each was virtually useless. Most re­
spondents also indicated that companies receive unsolicited applications but generally hire only a
small percent of those who apply in this manner.
Hiring inducements. The most effective inducements for attracting Ph. D. scientists and
engineers to a specific firm revolves around the overall “image” of the particular firm or its re­
search laboratory, especially its reputation for good research and its ability to provide an oppor­
tunity for professional development. Specifically, the most effective inducement for attracting
Ph. D. scientists and engineers, according to the firms interviewed, is the opportunity to perform
work of an advanced theoretical nature in the area of the individual’s particular field of interest.
An integral component of this inducement is the opportunity of working in association with
authorities in a particular field in the proper scientific environment. A common problem among
private firms seemed to be to convince recent Ph. D. recipients that opportunities for good re­
search and professional development exist in the firm as well as at a university.
Location also appears to play a significant role in a Ph. D.’s employment decision. Most
Ph. D. scientists and engineers want a location near a metropolitan area with its cultural activities,
and near a reputable university so that they can maintain academic ties and “consult” with uni­
versity colleagues. Like other workers, Ph. D.’s have preferences for living in certain areas of the
country and often are unwilling to move. A number of firms located on the East Coast indicated
difficulties in attracting Ph. D.’s from schools in the South and West, and some firms in areas with
severe winters considered their location a liability.
Salaries were considered to have an effect on recruitment only if they were below average.
On the other hand, they felt that there would be no significant difference in recruiting Ph. D.’s
if they offered higher than average salaries. Many firms indicated that they rely on private or
published surveys and determine salaries according to them. A few firms indicated that in
unusual circumstances, if they feel a particular individual’s skills were essential to the firm, they
may try to “buy” him with a higher salary offer. In general experienced Ph. D.’s tended to be
somewhat more concerned about salary and long term promotional opportunities than recent
graduates, according to officials of companies interviewed.

8




Chapter

1
1

R E Q U IR E M E N T S

In approaching an analyses of employment requirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers
in private industry, a fundamental question arose: Can needs for these workers be separated
from requirements for all scientists and engineers, or do companies generally consider that jobs
are open equally to Ph. D.’s or other highly educated and experienced scientists and engineers?
If requirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers cannot be separately identified, meaningful
projections cannot be developed.
To determine if an identifiable requirement for Ph. D.’s exists, the following two questions
were posed: (1) Can firms identify specific jobs for which a Ph. D. scientist or engineer is
needed? (2) Do firms have specific recruiting requirements for Ph. D.’s in their hiring goals?
Answers to the first question would indicate whether scientists and engineers with Ph. D. degrees
are separately identifiable from “high level” scientists and engineers without the degrees; answers
to the second question would indicate whether an “economic demand” or “market” existed for
Ph. D.’s that is separate from that for other scientists and engineers.
The responses to these questions led to the general conclusion that requirements for Ph. D.
scientists and engineers can be separately identified for the purpose of making illustrative man­
power projections. However, the results did indicate that there is some overlapping of require­
ments for Ph. D. holders with other high level workers.
In response to question 1 above, only a minority of firms indicated they were able to
identify jobs filled by Ph. D.’s that could only be filled by a scientist or engineer holding a Ph. D.
degree. These jobs generally involved the performance of independent basic research in special­
ized fields or the management of R&D activities, and firms felt that the specialized knowledge,
theoretical background, and research skills necessary to perform the work could only be obtained
through a formal Ph. D. program. Many company officials identified positions in which the job
requirements called for a scientist or engineer holding the Ph. D. or the equivalent in experience
and education. Nevertheless, these firms generally recruited for a worker holding a Ph. D. for
these positions. The common deviation from this procedure— when recruiting was not done—
was when a qualified individual without a Ph. D. already employed in the firm was promoted to
a “Ph. D. position.” A few firms identified positions that might be filled by a Ph. D., but where
the degree was not specifically recruited. Qualifications for these jobs included various com­
binations of education, experience, and demonstrated ability. Even in these jobs, however, the
companies indicated that the best qualified person for such jobs often held a Ph. D. degree.
Nearly all firms interviewed were able to discuss their requirements for Ph. D. scientists
and engineers quantitatively, despite some of the differences in identifying jobs specifically
requiring a Ph. D. Most firms had specific hiring goals for Ph. D.’s and set hiring quotas. Also,
in discussing shortages firms were very clear as to whether their Ph. D. positions were filled.




9

Most firms had some general idea of future Ph. D. scientist and engineer requirements;
several firms had a specific hiring objective such as (1) hiring a specific number each year,
(2) increasing Ph. D. scientists and engineers at a specified annual rate, or (3) having a specified
proportion of Ph. D.’s on the R&D staff. One comment made by nearly all firms, however,
was that they would hire a really good Ph. D. even if their goals already were met.
Factors affecting requirements

Research and development. Research and development activity is the key factor that
determines private industry’s requirements for scientists and engineers holding the Ph. D. degree.
The vast majority of firms interviewed clearly indicated that they hired Ph. D. scientists and
engineers to perform or manage research and development work. For work outside of research
and development, most companies had little specific need for scientists and engineers holding the
Ph. D. However, this does not preclude scientists and engineers who hold the Ph. D. from going
into other areas of work.
Two major aspects of R&D activity are involved in determining requirements for Ph. D.
scientists and engineers: (1) The level of R&D activity (dollars expended); and (2) the nature of
the R&D activity involved, generally the mix between research activity and development activity.
Most firms felt that changes in these aspects had been and in the future would be significant in
determining Ph. D. requirements in their firms. Some company officials attributed significant
changes in their firm requirements primarily to changes in only one of the above factors.
Level of R&D activity. In discussing past trends in the employment of Ph. D. scientists
and engineers, most firms indicated that such employment had increased over the past 5 years,
primarily because of an expansion in research and development programs. Most firms antic­
ipated a continued increase in requirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers during the 1970’s
because of an expansion of their R&D programs. In 1968, scientists and engineers holding the
Ph. D. represented roughly 10 percent of private industry’s scientists and engineers engaged in
research and development activities.
Nature of R&D activity. Officials interviewed indicated that even within R&D, Ph. D.
scientists and engineers are not needed or needs are quite limited in certain types of work, par­
ticularly in some areas of development. Many firms indicated that the proportion of R&D
scientists and engineers who hold Ph. D.’s is considerably greater in research than in develop­
ment. Therefore, a shift between research and development requiring different degrees of
intensity of Ph. D. utilization would result in a shift of Ph. D. requirements. A few firms
attributed some or all of their increased Ph. D. employment in the past to a shift in R&D em­
phasis from development to research, or felt that future growth of their Ph. D. employment
requirements would be due to such a shift. Several others that indicated a decline in the pro­
portion of their R&D scientists and engineers who held Ph. D. degrees over the past few years
attributed the decline to a shift in emphasis from research to development activities.
The type of research performed determines, in large part, the particular occupational
specialty required. Most firms indicated that they were able to define their hiring needs for
Ph. D.’s in a more narrow classification than in the broad occupational groupings of engineers,
mathematician, life scientist, and physical scientist. Although the responses as to the degree

10




of identifiable specialization varied for engineers, they were generally defined in terms of the
the major branches of engineering; for example, electrical engineering or chemical engineering.
For physical sciences and life sciences, needs were generally defined in terms of the subfields
of the major fields in these sciences; for example, organic, analytical, or physical chemistry;
optics, solid-state physics, or thermal physics; pharmacology, pathology, or microbiology. In
some cases firms indicated needs as specific as one of the specializations of these subfields; for
example, polymer chemistry, thermodynamics, or drug metabolism.
Another significant factor affecting requirements for Ph. D.’s in research was a fairly
widespread feeling that the longrun trend towards increased sophistication and complexity of
science and technology has and will continue to create a need for a generally advanced level of
education. In terms of Ph. D. requirements this may mean that over the longrun, even with a
constant mix between research and development, an increasing proportion of the total require­
ments for scientists and engineers in R&D will be for those holding the Ph. D.
O ther factors. Although persons with Ph. D. degrees are employed in non-R&D functions,
individual firms indicated they generally were not required for these positions. Among the
companies interviewed, only in the chemicals industry were officials able to identify significant
numbers or proportions of Ph. D. scientists and engineers outside of R&D activities; in that in­
dustry about one-fourth of the Ph. D.’s work in non-R&D activities such as technical sales and
general administration and management. For the most part, experienced Ph. D. scientists and
engineers left R&D positions because of changing interest or to accept a promotion. As such,
Ph. D.’s in non-R&D positions do not necessarily represent a “demand” for the degree since the
job could be performed equally well by a non-Ph. D. However, some firms, which in the past
had a policy of not using Ph. D. scientists and engineers outside of R&D activities, recently have
revised their thinking (according to officials interviewed) and are starting to utilize them in
other areas.
In some instances the utilization of Ph. D. scientists and engineers is related to the
“prestige” factor of the Ph. D. degree itself. For example, in several firms Ph. D. hiring goals
were set by the company’s top management and carried out by the operating divisions. In
some of these cases the number hired at the operating level was less than management goals
because it was felt that the goals were unrealistic in relation to “actual needs.” It was felt that
a B.S. recipient who commands half the salary of the Ph. D. was all that was needed. How­
ever, if a firm is willing to pay the going rate for a Ph. D. recipient, an effective demand exists
for that individual. Whether a company wants a Ph. D. because of the nature of the work or
the “prestige” involved, the net result is the same— an economic demand for a Ph. D.
Estimates of 1980 requirements

Illustrative projections of requirements for scientists and engineers holding the Ph. D.
degree were developed using the general methodology employed by the Bureau of Labor Sta­
tistics to project future manpower requirements for scientists, engineers, and technicians. 5
^ See, for example, Technician Manpower: Requirements, Resources, and Training Needs (U.S. De­
partment of Labor, BLS, Bulletin 1512) and Scientists, Engineers, and Technicians in the 1960’s (National
Science Foundation, NSF 63-34), prepared for the National Science Foundation by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics.




11

The basic assumption made regarding the question of an identifiable demand for Ph. D.’s—
an assumption that is probably oversimplified in the light of the foregoing discussion— was that
their employment in 1968 reflected the requirements at that time. This assumption does not
appear unreasonable since there appeared to be no general shortage or surplus of Ph. D. scientists
and engineers in private industry in 1968. In general, the methodology followed includes the
development of a statistical relationship between employment and the key factors affecting em­
ployment requirements, and between employment requirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers
and overall employment requirements for the economy. For Ph. D. scientists and engineers, one
parameter reflected both of these characteristics— projections of requirements for all scientists
and engineers in research and development. These projections were developed within the frame­
work of manpower projections for all industries and occupations in the economy in 1980. They
reflect the growth of research and development expenditures, although at a slower rate than show
in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. They also reflected other major assumptions underlying the
Bureau’s overall projections, including: A national unemployment rate of 3 percent; continuatioi
of high rates of economic growth; a level of defense and space activities in the target year approxi­
mating those of 1963, somewhat higher than the levels prior to the Viet Nam buildup; and a con­
tinuation of scientific and technological advances at about the same rate as in the recent past.
First approximations of Ph. D. scientist and engineer requirements in 1980 were developed
by calculating ratios of Ph. D. scientists and engineers to an estimate of all scientists and engineer:
in private industry engaged in R&D in 1968, and then applying these ratios to projected 1980 re­
quirements for all R&D scientists and engineers in private industry. Analytical adjustments then
were made based on information received during the interviews with company officials and on
employment data of Ph. D. scientists and engineers by industry available from the BLS survey.
In developing the projections it would have been helpful to analyze the past effects of
factors such as changing levels of R&D expenditures on employment of Ph. D. scientists and
engineers for years prior to 1968. Since these data had not been collected, information pre­
viously discussed that was obtained from officials of firms interviewed about the past growth of
their Ph. D. scientists and engineers in relation to R&D expenditures, employment levels of
scientists and engineers, and levels of research and development were analyzed. This analysis
provided some idea of how these factors could be expected to influence the employment of
scientists and engineers holding the Ph. D.
Although the firms interviewed were able to provide some general information about the
relative rates of growth for each occupational group in the past and/or expected rates of growth,
individual firm responses were so varied that no consistent pattern could be developed. Thus,
projected 1980 requirements of total scientists and engineers holding the Ph. D. were distributed
into one of four major occupational groups— engineers, mathematicians, physical scientists, life
scientists— based on the estimated distribution for each industry in 1968 as developed from data
collected in the 1968 survey. The different rates of growth projected for each occupational
group reflect primarily different industry rates of growth for all scientists and engineers and re­
quirements for scientists and engineers in research and development activities because the relative
importance of each occupational group in various industries differ.
Based on the methodology described above, requirements for workers covered in the survey
are projected to increase by more than 50 percent, from 35,800 in 1968 to 55,000 by 1980. Re­
quirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers in each of the four occupational groups are not
expected to increase at the same rate.
12




Table 2. Illustrative projections of 1980 requirements for Ph. D. scientists and engineers
in private industry, by occupational group
Number
1968

1980

Percent
increase,
1968-80

Total ............................

35,800

55,000

53.5

Eningeers................................
Mathematicians .....................
Physical scientists ................
Life scientists..........................

12,800
800
19,500
2,800

20,100
1,300
29,500
4,100

57.5
56.6
51.6
47.1

Occupational group

NOTE: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.

Company officials indicated that nearly all Ph. D. scientists and engineers are recruited to
work in R&D activities. However, the data from the survey show that about 20 percent of all
Ph. D. scientists and engineers employed in private industry worked in non-R&D activities in
1968. These workers included Ph. D. scientists and engineers engaged in research for several
years who then shifted to non-R&D positions such as sales, production, or management. Com­
pany officials indicated that firms benefit by retaining a Ph. D. in non-R&D work rather than
risk losing him. Although those Ph. D.’s employed in non-R&D activities may not represent a
true demand for a Ph. D., they do reflect employment patterns of Ph. D. scientists and engineers
and must be accounted for in the projections or the future employment requirements picture
would be incomplete. Thus, the illustrative 1980 employment requirements projections pre­
sented here include all Ph. D. scientists and engineers in private industry, both those in R&D and
in other activities. They assume that these scientists and engineers will continue to be employed
in non-R&D activities in 1980 at approximately the same proportion (20 percent) as in 1968.




13

Appendix A
C O V E R A G E A N D D E F IN IT IO N S

The definition of engineers, mathematicians, physical scientists, and life scientists used in
this report are those used in the survey of scientific and technical personnel in private industry
conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.6
Generally, scientists and engineers are all persons actually engaged in scientific or engineer­
ing work at a level that requires a knowledge of science or engineering equivalent at least to that
acquired through completion of a 4-year college course with a major in science or engineering,
regardless of whether they hold a college degree.
Additionally, each employee reported working as an engineer, mathematician, physical
scientist, or life scientist who holds a doctoral degree was reported by the type of work he per­
formed, regardless of the discipline or field of study in which the degree was earned. Thus, an
employee holding a doctoral degree in mathematics but working as an engineer was reported as
an engineer and not as a mathematician.
Excluded from coverage as doctoral degree holders were persons whose highest degree was
an M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M., other first professional degrees, or any honorary degree.
The scope of this report was limited to those doctoral degree holders who were employed
in private industry. Excluded were doctoral degree holders employed by Federal, State, and
local governments; colleges and universities; and nonprofit institutions.

® See Scientific and Technical Personnel in Industry, 1961-66, op. cit.

14




Appendix B
IN T E R V IE W S

The following interview guide was prepared as an aid to Bureau staff members in conduct­
ing the interviews.
Of course, not all companies were able to answer all the questions suggested in the guide.
However, its use assured the same questions being asked each company official. In addition,
by following the format suggested in the guide, the written reports of each interview tended to
follow a standard format that aided in the analysis of the interviews.




15

BLS Form 2716-D
BB No. 44-R1157
IN T E R V IE W G U ID E
Study of Employment Requirements for Engineers, Mathematicians, and
Scientists with Doctoral Degrees in Private Industry
A. Introduction

1. Reason for the need to make projections of employment requirements for engineers,
mathematicians, and scientists with doctoral degrees (Ph. D.).
(a) Planning educational programs
(b) Support of education
2. Study is being done by BLS for NSF.
3. All data and information obtained in the interview will be confidential.
4. Although information on 1968 employment of social scientists will be obtained in the
Survey of Scientific and Technical Personnel in Industry, 1968, they are excluded from this
study of requirements. Natural scientists and engineers who hold a M.D., D.D.S., or D.V.M.
degree, other first professional degree, or an honorary degree are also excluded unless they
also hold a Ph. D. degree.
5. This interview is being conducted primarily to obtain information on the factors that
effect the company’s demand for Ph. D. scientific and technical manpower. Some parts of
the interview are designed to increase our basic knowledge of Ph. D. manpower in private
industry.
B. Current employment

1 . As part of the BLS study of Ph. D. engineers, mathematicians, and scientists, a survey
is being conducted of current Ph. D. employment and your company recently has received a
questionnaire requesting the following information. (Give attachment A to respondent.)

Number of employees working as
ENGINEERS who hold doctoral degrees in any field ............................
MATHEMATICIANS who hold doctoral degrees in any fie ld ..............
PHYSICAL SCIENTISTS who hold doctoral degrees in any field . . . .
LIFE SCIENTISTS who hold doctoral degrees in any field ...................

16




Number employed as of January 1968
Performing or managing
Total
R&D activities

2. Can you provide me with this information now so that I can place your responses to my
questions in the proper prospective? (Whenever possible, the respondent should be made aware
of this request over the telephone while making the appointment for the interview.)
3. In what functions other than research and development are the company’s Ph. D. scientists
and engineers engaged, and approximately what proportion of the total are engaged in each activity?
(a) Management and administration
(1) Research and development (should be included in R&D statistics on schedule)
(2) Other activities (specify)
(b) Production
(c) Other (specify)
4. Do any of the Ph. D. scientists and engineers reported in B 1 above have Ph. D. degrees in fields
other than natural science, mathematics, or engineering? If yes, approximately what proportion?
5. What is the approximate proportion of the company’s Ph. D. scientists and engineers that have
degrees in scientific or engineering fields other than in the field in which they are working? For ex­
ample: Man working as an engineer with a Ph. D. degree in physical science.
6. (Note to interviewer: Review concept that an individual with Ph. D. degree in science or
engineering may be employed in another occupation.) Does your company employ any workers
with a Ph. D. degree in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering who are not working as
natural scientists, mathematicians, or engineers? If yes, approximately how many?
C. Shortages

1. Is your company’s current staffing needs for Ph. D. scientists filled?
If not—
(a) What is the approximate number of vacant positions?
(b) Is the number of vacancies affected by seasonal factors? For example: Do you allot
additional positions in May or June for new graduates?
2 . Is the company actively recruiting Ph. D.’s?
(a) If yes—
(1) In what occupational field?
(2) What are the recruiting problems?
Salaries
General lack of supply
Lack of supply with specific fields of specialization
(b) If not recruiting, why isn’t the company actively recruiting?
(1) Feel the supply is not available.
( 2 ) Administrative restrictions, i.e., is to wait for applications




17

D. H iring practices

1. Who decides that a Ph. D. worker is needed for a particular job (project leader, personnel
department) and what criteria are used in making this determination?
2. Does your company have any “ set” or “ desired” staffing pattern for scientists and engineers
by educational level? (Ph. D., Master’s, Bachelor’s.)
(a) In R&D
(b) Other activities
3. In determining the qualification needed for a specific job, is degree level the key measure
or a combination of education and experience?
4. Do you have any work that you feel can be done only by a Ph. D.?
(a) How many such positions? (Relate to total reported in B 1.)
5. Is there established company policy on salary differentials between Ph. D.’s and those
with less education?
6. How does the company recruit Ph. D.’s?
(a) Visit colleges
(1) New graduates
(2) Professors
(b) Wait for applications from employees of other firms or from new college graduates
(c) Contact professional associations
(d) Advertise in professional journals or newspapers
(e) Through professional employment agencies
(f)
Referral by our employees
7. What inducements are most effective in recruiting employed Ph. D.’s to your firm?
(a) Salary increase
(b) More interesting challenging work
(c) Better long term promotional opportunities
(d) Promotion to a position of higher status than presently held
(e) Opportunities for professional development (sabbatical leave, paid travel to
professional association meetings, etc.)
8. What has been the major sources of the Ph. D.’s hired in the past?
(a) New graduates
(b) Other private employers
(c) Government
(d) Educational institutions (employed professors)

18




9. What do you do if you can’t get Ph. D.’s?
(a) Hire persons with Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees
(b) Use company training to upgrade skills of Master’s and Bachelor’s
(c) Help Master’s and Bachelor’s to get additional education
(d) Leave position vacant until Ph. D. becomes available
10. If you can’t get a Ph. D. with the desired educational background, do you substitute a
Ph. D. from another discipline?
11. Are there any specialties for which particular courses of graduate study or curricula are
not offered, but for which the company feels training should be offered?

E. Past trends

1. Has the number of scientific and technical staff holding doctorate degrees in your company
increased over the past 5 years?
(a) Approximately what percent?
How does this compare with total science and engineering employment changes?
(b) What has been the major factors contributing to this growth? (Rank)
(1) Growth of company
(2) Growth of R&D activities
(3) Greater utilization of Ph. D.’s
(a) Management
(b) R&D
(c) Other activities
(4) Greater availability of Ph. D. workers
(5) All, or combination of above
2. What occupational fields have shown the fastest growth? Why?
(a) Engineering
(b) Physical science
(c) Life science
(d) Mathematics
3. What type of supply-demand conditions for Ph. D.’s did the company experience during
this period? Any differences in these conditions by occupational field?
(a) Shortages throughout
(b) No hiring difficulties




19

F. Future

1. Will the factors that affected your company’s demand for Ph. D. scientists and engineers
in the past have the same impact over the next 10 years? (Rank)
(a) Company expansion
(b) Growth of R&D
(c) Greater utilization of Ph. D.’s
(1) Management
(2) R&D
(3) Other (especially new activities in which Ph. D.’s are not currently utilized)
(d) Greater availability of Ph. D.’s
2. Follow-up of the R&D needs.
(a) You have about
Ph. D.’s working in research and development. (See B 1.)
Assuming current supply-demand conditions and that you were to increase your R&D
activities by about 25 percent in the next 10 years, would the number of Ph. D.’s hired
for this work expand (1) faster, (2) slower, (3) the same rate? How much slower or
faster?
Assume no scarcity (only if company currently is experiencing a shortage).
(b) Assuming no increase in R&D activities, would the company increase the number of
Ph. D. scientists and engineers in this work? (Discuss magnitudes.)
3. Do you expect different rates of employment growth of Ph. D.’s among various scientific
and engineering fields?
(a) Engineering
(b) Physical science
(c) Life science
(d) Mathematics
4. Does the firm have any active plans to increase the number of Ph. D. scientists and engineers
in the future?
(a) Have projections of company’s needs been made?
(1) Over what period
(2) Number desired

20




☆ U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1970 O - 380-230




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