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Statistics on Physics & Astronomy PhDs One Year After Degree

Thursday, December 11, 2014 - 08:36

Patrick Mulvey of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Statistical Research Center informs us of two new publications of interest to AAS members:

The first report examines what new physics PhDs — including those with degress in astronomy or astrophysics — are doing the year after receiving their doctorates. New physics graduates follow two main initial career paths: they accept a temporary position (mostly postdocs) or accept a potentially permanent position. More than half (56%) of the new physics PhDs were employed in a postdoctoral fellowship in the winter following the year they received their degrees.

The second report shows that there is a strong relationship between the type of employment new PhDs accept and the sector in which they work. PhDs accepting postdocs were overwhelmingly employed in the academic sector, whereas the majority of PhDs accepting potentially permanent positions were employed in the private sector.

The data in both reports come from the annual AIP physics PhD follow-up survey of the classes of 2011 and 2012.

You can access both reports, as well as many others, at

Richard Tresch Fienberg
Press Officer
American Astronomical Society (AAS)
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