Led by Donna Ginther, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Policy and Social Research (IPSR) at the University of Kansas—one of the top labor economists specializing in the study of the scientific workforce—and her colleagues at the IPSR, this comprehensive study explores key trends in education, employment, occupations, earnings and job satisfaction. This report is the newest, and perhaps first, statistical portrait capturing those with microbiology degrees and those working in microbiology professions.
Among its key findings, the report revealed that the Ph.D. microbiology workforce has evolved significantly over the past 25 years. While in the late 1990s around 1/3 of all Ph.D. microbiologists worked in academia, and another 1/3 worked in industry, today around 50% of all Ph.D. microbiologists work in industry, and only around 1 in 5 works in tenured or tenure-track positions. Additionally, bachelor’s degrees in microbiology grew by 50% in the past 2 decades, with most of that growth occurring in the past 6 years.
With the microbial scientific workforce continuing to grow, ASM will use these data to better prepare, train, advocate for and support individuals in the microbial sciences; develop an active and engaged workforce and empower microbial science professionals to develop their careers.
On a global scale, this report allows microbial scientists from all career sectors to delve into the landscape of the microbiology discipline and see how the field has evolved in the COVID-19 pandemic-era. The findings of this study will inform tangible action needed to sustain the profession.
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The workforce trends illustrated in this report will also help us build connections across sectors, allowing us to harness the power of microbes to solve the world’s biggest problems—like climate change, antimicrobial resistance and emerging infectious diseases. In order to do so, it is essential that the microbial sciences workforce is robust, diverse and engaged and that we capture the future of the field.