Undergrad science and engineering are broadly useful

11:16am, September 13, 2006

Although they aren't researchers, the majority of people who earned bachelor's degrees in science and engineering at least 10 years ago find their knowledge of those fields useful in their current workplaces.

The findings, which come from an analysis of three national databases of college graduates, were reported in August by Mark C. Regets of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.

Overall, 13 percent of the college grads with a bachelor's degree in science or engineering had gotten an advanced degree in the same broad field that they started in—say, biology or computer science. Only 4 percent received a doctorate degree. By contrast, almost one-third of the graduates had gone on for advanced degrees in nonscientific fields, such as law or business.

About half of the college graduates went no further academically. Still, 44 percent of this group conduct research and development as their primary activity.

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