National Statistics on the Number of Biomedical Engineers Graduating in 2007 vs. Job Projections

The following table was created from degree completion data available at the NCES website. The graduating statistics are important to know because there has been a consistent issue described by B.S. BME graduates seeking industry jobs in their field. It’s very difficult to get one with a baccalaureate degree. The number of graduates holding that degree in 2007 hold a clue to the problem. The baccalaureate numbers are troublesome for the graduate because the Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for new BME jobs 2006-2016 is approximately 300 per year ( Bureau of Labor Statistics Projections for New Biomedical Engineering Jobs ).

To more accurately understand the situation some more information is needed. On the projection side of the equation it is possible that the BLS is underestimating the population of employed BME’s or that a significant number of BMEs are actually distributed among other job titles not identified by the BLS. On the supply side the B.S. BME graduate numbers do not reflect how many graduates had been accepted to graduate school and medical school after graduation. For example, I received a personal communication from the AAMC ( American Association of Medical Colleges ) reporting 573 BME graduates were accepted into medical school in 2006. The graduate school enrollment numbers may also impact the number of B.S. graduates looking for work considerably because a significant number of graduates could be enrolling into M.S. programs if the number of M.S. graduates reported in 2007 is any guide. Unfortunately those M.S. and Ph.D. BME graduates would also be competing for the the BME jobs counted and projected by the BLS. Additional research and analysis will be needed to get a better estimate of the number of BME graduates actually looking for work outside the academic and medical fields.  It is interesting to note that females make up approximately 38% of the graduates.  This is a percentage which traditional engineering programs do not match.

Update:

National Statistics on the Number of Biomedical Engineers Graduating in 2008 vs Job Projections

The Number of Biomedical Engineers Graduating in 2007
Male Female Total
B.S. 2006 1247 3253

M.S. 747 481 1228
Degree
Ph.D. 363 200 563
Total 3116 1928 5044

See also Where to Look for Experience for that Biomedical Engineering Job and Odds of Getting into Medical School with a Biomedical Engineering Degree


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