Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 4.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

The U.S. Air Force sets varying requirements for education to ensure that officer career fields are staffed with individuals that can carry out the required activities to meet mission needs, and many of these educational requirements call for individuals with undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. RAND research suggests that in some fields, there are substantial gaps between the desired and actual numbers of officers with STEM degrees, and these gaps can lead to issues of reduced capability and a need to pull STEM-degreed officers from other career fields. In addition, it seems that these degree requirements developed through a variety of methods that are not always evidence based, suggesting that a more data-driven approach to developing these requirements is needed. This manual describes the process developed by RAND researchers to estimate STEM degree needs for USAF career fields. Specifically, RAND developed an approach and documented the approach in a draft manual, implemented the draft manual through technical assistance with five career fields in 2013 and 2014, and refined the manual based on the implementation experience. Given the approach was intended to ultimately be used by CFMs and their staff without RAND's involvement, RAND sought to create an approach that provided rigor yet was feasible given the resources available to CFMs. A companion report that summarizes this approach, among other efforts and issues related to accession planning, was released by RAND in June 2016.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Identifying Job Clusters and Capabilities for Your Career Field

  • Chapter Three

    Gathering Evidence About Capabilities for Your Career Field

  • Chapter Four

    Learning About Capabilities for Your Career Field

  • Chapter Five

    Bringing It All Together: Using Clusters and Capabilities to Inform Degree Requirements

  • Chapter Six

    An Example to Illustrate the Analysis Process

  • Appendix A

    Request for Survey Control Number

  • Appendix B

    Survey Forms

  • Appendix C

    Sample Survey Invitation Emails

  • Appendix D

    Using Adobe Acrobat to Field Surveys

  • Appendix E

    Getting Familiar with the Data

  • Appendix F

    Sampling and Analysis in Microsoft Excel

  • Appendix G

    Additional Resources for Use in Analysis

This research was conducted within the Manpower and Training Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation tool series. RAND tools may include models, databases, calculators, computer code, GIS mapping tools, practitioner guidelines, web applications, and various toolkits. All RAND tools undergo rigorous peer review to ensure both high data standards and appropriate methodology in keeping with RAND's commitment to quality and objectivity.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.