Mapping scientists’ career trajectories in the survey of doctorate recipients using three statistical methods
Edwards, K.A., Acheson-Field, H., Rennane, S. et al. Mapping scientists’ career trajectories in the survey of doctorate recipients using three statistical methods. Sci Rep 13, 8119 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-34809-1
9 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 20 May 2023
Date Written: May 19, 2023
This paper investigates to what extent there is a ‘traditional’ career among individuals with a Ph.D. in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) discipline. We use longitudinal data that follows the first 7–9 years of post-conferral employment among scientists who attained their degree in the U.S. between 2000 and 2008. We use three methods to identify a traditional career. The first two emphasize those most commonly observed, with two notions of commonality; the third compares the observed careers with archetypes defined by the academic pipeline. Our analysis includes the use of machine-learning methods to find patterns in careers; this paper is the first to use such methods in this setting. We find that if there is a modal, or traditional, science career, it is in non-academic employment. However, given the diversity of pathways observed, we offer the observation that traditional is a poor descriptor of science careers.
Keywords: STEM pipeline, STEM career, tenure-track
JEL Classification: J24, I23,
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