Science and Engineering Education and the Workforce



Current research involves analysis of the supply of scientists and engineers, of the educational performance of students, and of the dynamics of workforce demand and supply. The major topic areas of research include:

  1. Educational performance of U.S. students and international comparisons
  2. The educational performance and persistence of science and engineering students
  3. The college graduate supply of scientists and engineers
  4. The science and engineering workforce – supply and demand/employment
  5. Engineering demand and employment, including case studies of petroleum engineers, studies of IT workers.


Collaborators and Support


This work has been supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and two current projects are supported by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and through the National Bureau of Economic Research. This work is conducted with colleagues Lindsay Lowell, Georgetown University; Leonard Lynn, Case Western Reserve University; Daniel Kuehn, American University; and Richard Freeman, Harvard University.


Alfred P. Sloan Foundation National Science Foundation




Two current projects include analysis of engineering employment and a new project examining the educational pathways of science and engineering students, with detailed analysis of course taking and performance by field of study. The studies conducted to date are summarized below with links to papers, commentaries, and media coverage and several in-depth articles on these topics.


Science and Engineering Pathways in a Loosely Coupled System: An Analysis of Education and Career Trajectories


Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


The analysis will significantly advance our understanding of science and engineering (S&E) students’ pathways from college through early-stage careers using newly available, in-depth longitudinal data and fieldwork. It will provide a more accurate assessment of the S&E content of students’ education, and analysis of varied pathways pursued by S&E students, different demographic groups (underrepresented minorities, women), and fields (e.g., engineering).



U.S. Engineers in the Global Economy


This project involves a group of 12 researchers examining different dimensions of engineering education, employment, and skills. This will be published as an edited book by National Bureau of Economic Research/University of Chicago Press (editors: Richard Freeman and Hal Salzman


Hal Salzman’s current research projects that will be chapters in this book include an analysis of petroleum engineering, a study of engineering management, and an overall assessment of engineering supply and demand.


Full list of chapters


Paper on petroleum engineering and the dynamics of engineering labor markets



Publications, papers, and related articles and media