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The size and adequacy of the federal workforce for carrying out scientific, technical, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities are ongoing concerns in many policy circles. Experts both inside and outside of government have voiced fears that this workforce is aging and may soon face a dwindling labor pool, a problem that could be compounded by skill shortages in key areas and growing numbers of non-U.S. citizens obtaining STEM degrees in the United States. The authors assess the condition of this workforce, based on the best available data, while focusing on three main areas: trends in the U.S. STEM workforce overall that might affect the federal STEM workforce, workforce-shaping activities in the federal STEM workforce, and legislative and programmatic mechanisms for influencing that workforce.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The U.S. STEM Workforce

  • Chapter Three

    The Federal STEM Workforce

  • Chapter Four

    Mechanisms for Influencing the Size and Composition of the STEM Workforce

  • Chapter Five


The research described in this report was conducted by the Science and Technology Policy Institute (operated by RAND Science and Technology from 1992 to November 2003) for the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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