Just a couple of notes on the new NFS document that I found interesting.
National Science Foundation, “Science & Engineering Indicators 2012”
There are a few anomalies again in the NFS salary data for H-1B occupations, in six of the occupations (yellow Colorcode), H-1B workers with a Master’s degree are earning less than those with a Bachelor’s degree. It appears that in all six of these occupations, Master’s degree holders are also earning less than the average for “All degree levels”.
The Grey Colorcode indicates that Master’s degree holders in these occupations earned less than the “All degree level” average.
H-1B visa recipients tend to possess advanced degrees. In FY 2009, 58% of new H-1B visa recipients had an advanced degree, including 40% with master’s degrees, 6% with professional degrees, and 13% with doctorates. This degree distribution differs by occupation, with 83% of mathematical and physical scientists holding advanced degrees (44% with doctorates). Among life scientists, 87% hold advanced degrees (61% with doctorates).
I believe that the statement above can be paraphrased that 40% of 2009 H-1Bs have Master’s degrees, while 42% have Bachelor’s degrees – anecdotally this indicate a statistically valid sample. Mathematical, physical and life scientists would appear to have a higher occurrence of doctorate degrees, simply due to the fact that the NSF took the initiative to mention the fact.
In contrast, in the 2006 data, Master’s degree holders in Computer-related occupations and Writing earned $400.00 per year less than Bachelor’s degree holders in the same occupations.
If we had access to more data, such as the number in each group, location of employment, US or foreign degreed,we could probably make a determination why Master’s degrees appear to losing ground in this population.
A Notable Excerpt on Research & Development Employment
Between 1994 and 2004, R&D employment in the United States by foreign firms grew slightly faster than R&D employment abroad by U.S. firms. During this period, R&D employment in the United States by majority-owned affiliates 26 of foreign firms rose from 89,800 to 128,500, a 43% increase (figure 3-48). Over the same 10 years, R&D employment by U.S. firms at their majority-owned foreign affiliates grew 35%, from 102,000 in 1994 to 137,800 in 2004. Adding U.S. parent company R&D employment of 716,400 workers, U.S. MNCs employed 854,200 R&D workers globally (figure 3-49) in 2004.
The average annual growth in R&D employment abroad by U.S. firms from 1994 to 2004 was 3%. This shifted their proportion of overseas employment slightly, increasing it from 14% to 16% of total employment.
The 2009 data on MNC R&D employment abroad show a markedly different trend after 2004 from the trend in the preceding decade. About 85% of MNC R&D employment growth occurred abroad. Whereas employment abroad nearly doubled, domestic employment during the same period grew by less than 5%. As a result, the proportion of MNC R&D employment located outside the United States went from 16% to 27%.
The unprecedented increase in U.S. MNC R&D employment abroad contrasts with the continuation of modest growth in R&D employment by foreign firms in the United States. Because of this, unlike in 2004 and prior years, the amount of R&D employment attributed to U.S. MNCs abroad is much larger than the comparable figure for foreign firms in the United States (figure 3-48). The data in figures 3-48 and 3-49 are consistent with two trends discussed in this chapter: growth in S&T employment in the United States coinciding with a general expansion throughout the world of the capacity to do S&T work.
Chapter 3, “Science & Engineering Indicators 2012”