Stay Rates for S&E Doctorates Level Off
I’m still on vacation, but CRA blogging continues over at the CRA Bulletin, where Jay Vegso has a piece on some new analysis on the “stay rates” of foreign US-degree recipients. One of the concerns surrounding the computing research community’s contribution to U.S. competitiveness is the potential that an increasing percentage of the half of CS doctoral students who are not U.S. citizens will choose to leave the U.S. after earning their degree.
Jay points to a recent study by Michael Finn of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (done for NSF) that shows that while the stay rates for those students have been surprisingly high (74 percent of temporary visa holders who received doctorates in CS in 2001 were still in the US in 2003), that data seem to suggest a decline in the rate in the years to come:
As Finn points out, though, there are signs that these stay rates have plateaued and may begin to fall. The two-year stay rate for temporary visa holders, while at an all-time high, was the same for the 2001 class as it was for those who graduated in 1999. The one-year stay rate, on the other hand, declined slightly. This followed several years of steady increases. In addition, Finn points out that according to a separate NSF survey, the percentage of foreign doctorate recipients with plans to stay in the US declined each year between 2001 and 2003.
Finns study suggests that stay rates among foreign students have leveled off and may begin to decline. On the one hand, this is not surprising: the rates have been very high and could be expected to reach a limit at some point. However, the next bulletin entry will discuss recent CRA and NSF data that show that the percentage of foreign doctorate students that have found employment outside the US has jumped in the past few years.
Jay’s post has more analysis and a nifty chart, too.