Source: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
Are all Doctorates the same?
Research doctorates are awarded in recognition of academic research that is publishable in a peer-refereed context and represents at least a modest contribution to human knowledge.
Professional doctorates are awarded in certain fields where most holders of the degree are not engaged primarily in scholarly research and academic activities, but rather in a profession. Practitioners in these fields hold first-professional degrees, not graduate research degrees, and the level of research training is not academically equivalent to a Ph.D.
Do we have enough Ph.D.’s?
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. In spite of increasing number of doctorates awarded in the past four decades, they have reached a plateau of around 40,000 per year
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. The greatest growth in the number of doctorates awarded in the past three decades has been in the life sciences
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. Some fields appear to have peaked (saturated?) while others continue to grow
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. In spite that there are more male doctorate recipients than female recipients, the gap between genders is decreasing
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. More women are receiving doctorate degrees from life sciences programs
Source: Doctorate recipients from United States universities 2005, National Science Foundation. Although the percentage of doctorates earned by minorities has increased in the last two decades, minorities are still underrepresented when compared to their distribution in the general population
U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin earned a total of 1,489 research doctorates from U.S. institutions in the period of July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007. The number of Hispanics receiving doctoral degrees has increased by 140 percent in the last twenty years from 617 in 1987 to 1,489 in 2007.
In 2007, nearly two-thirds of doctorate degrees earned by Hispanics were awarded in three broad fields – life sciences (21 percent), social sciences (22 percent), and education (22 percent).
The proportion of females among Hispanics receiving doctoral degrees has increased in the last 10 years, from 49 percent in 1997 to 56 percent in 2007.
Source: National Science Foundation, Survey of Earned Doctorates Fact Sheet ( http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/doctorates or http://www.norc.uchicago.edu/sed)
Medical Careers Seen as Best Choice for Young Men, Women
“ Skilled workers needed for the jobs of the future” - Caribbean Business, August 6, 2009
Report of the U.S. President’s Council on Economic Advisers
Healthcare-related jobs , jobs in pharmaceuticals and aerospace manufacturing as well as environmental-related jobs are expected to grow in the next 5-10 years.
Two of the most sought-out characteristics by employers are critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
Workers should acquire additional training and education to strengthen their resumés.
Puerto Rico ranked 48 among states, DC and territories in number of doctorate recipients in 2005 (67)
28% in Social Sciences
21% in Education
19% in Life Sciences
The leading institutions awarding doctorates to Hispanics were the UPR-Río Piedras, UC-Berkeley, UT-Austin and UCLA
Río Piedras accounts for 90% of doctorates granted in Puerto Rico
UPR-Leading S&T Programs
Biotechnology (molecular biology emphasis)
Advanced Degree Programs:
Number of Degrees Conferred in Science and Technology 2001-2005 (partial list) Total: 49,173
Some Employment Facts
Puerto Rico’s economy is industrial and services oriented
Life science Industry 32% of GDP
Top 5 th largest manufacturer of Pharmaceuticals
Top 5 th largest biotech manufacturer
Top 7 th largest exporter of medical Device Products
The leading exports include
pharmaceuticals (some 50% of all U.S. prescription drugs),
electronic and other machinery,
raw and refined sugar,
and sugar products (rum, candy, molasses)
Industry Facts and Figures
19 of the 33 largest pharmaceutical companies have operations in Puerto Rico
13 of the top 20 drugs sold in the United States are manufactured in Puerto Rico
Pharmaceutical companies contribute approximately one-third of our GDP
66% of all exports
30,000 direct and 90,000 indirect jobs
15% of total workforce
Strong Pharmaceutical Leader and Emerging Biotechnology Force Bio & Pharmaceutical Companies Medical Devices Companies 89 Plants 56 Plants
Studies by Therapeutic Area, 2008
Clinical Trials in Latin America Source: www.clinicaltrials.gov; Population data from Population Reference Bureau (http://www.prb.org)
Do we have enough Ph.D.’s? Maybe… or maybe not
Why do a Ph.D.? (not really)
Because you prefer a stipend than a salary (financially it does not make sense)
Because you are an eternal student (or like student life too much)
Because you enjoy spending long hours in the laboratory or the library
Why do a Ph.D.? (not really)
Because you would like to spend the best part of a decade in a time warp while your friends start careers, buy cars and houses
Because you want to impress your family and friends
Because you do not want to move from your parent’s house
What a Ph.D. will NOT do for you?
Know a lot about everything (become a genius)
Become an immediate expert in your field
Achieve big results at the outset
Give you instant fame
Allow you to get the job of your dreams after graduation
Improve your social life…
A Few Questions to Ask
Do you want a research career ?
Do you want an academic position ?
Do you have what it takes ?
Intelligence - Self-motivation
Time - Competitiveness
Curiosity - Maturity
Creativity - Perseverance
Adaptability - Enthusiasm
A Ph.D. will …
Allow you to grow as a person and as a professional
You are in control of your destiny; If you do great work, you will be noticed
The school, the advisor and the area of research are all important but your work will determine your fate
Allow you to work on interesting things with a substantial degree of freedom
Allow you to meet and exchange ideas with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
A Ph.D. will …
Allow you to make a difference in addressing issues and problems in the real world
Results are achieved incrementally
You are always discovering new things or improving what we have available
Why do we need (more) Ph.D.’s?
Because we need professors and researchers in our academic institutions.
Because we need researchers in federal and state government agencies that will provide the data that will help policy makers formulate informed decisions.
Because we need more research focused on the particular needs of our community .
So, why do we need Ph.D.’s? Because life is full of unsolved problems and every single aspect of our life is subject to improvement
"To know the road ahead, ask those coming back." - Chinese proverb
The Joy of Research
A colleague summed up the way many researchers feel about their profession. When asked why he spent so many hours in the lab, he noted that the alternatives were to go home, where he would do the same things that millions of others were doing, or to work in his lab, where he could discover things that no other human had ever discovered. The smile on his face told the story: for him, working on research was sheer joy.