IPUMS Higher Ed Overview

IPUMS Higher Ed is intended to facilitate access to data on the STEM labor force. The National Science Foundation has conducted several surveys of science and engineering graduates since the 1990s: the Survey of Doctorate Recipients, National Survey of College Graduates, and the Survey of Recent College Graduates. To aid researchers, NSF combined these surveys into single integrated files called SESTAT: Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System. Even in their SESTAT form, however, there are numerous files to manage in order to study trends over time, there are incompatibilities across survey years, and data discovery is difficult.

IPUMS Higher Ed was funded by the National Institutes of Health to address these accessibility challenges in the public use SESTAT files. In IPUMS Higher Ed, variables common to multiple survey years are coded and documented consistently. The web dissemination system shows the availability of variables across the data collection and provides access to their integrated documentation. Comparability issues across surveys and over time are documented, and each variable is linked to its corresponding questionnaire text.

The web system produces custom data extracts. It allows users to browse and select variables to include in pooled data extracts containing as many surveys and variables as desired. The user downloads the data to their desktop for analysis.

A small number of variables in the original surveys were not included in the integrated SESTAT files. Consequently, IPUMS Higher Ed also supplies the original "full" Survey of Doctorate Recipients as well as the SESTAT version of the survey.