A Longitudinal Analysis of Doctoral Graduate Supply in the Educational Measurement Field

Jennifer Randall, Joseph A. Rios, Hyun Joo Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


For nearly three decades, researchers have been concerned that the educational measurement field is not producing enough graduate-level specialists to meet the growing demand driven by the increased use of educational assessments in the United States. This study examined the supply-side aspect of the proposed labor shortage by relying on data from the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates collected between 1997 and 2016. Over the 20 years examined, measurement programs produced 3,124 doctoral graduates, and across this time span, the annual production of graduates nearly doubled. This supply expansion can largely be attributed to the increase in the number of international graduates, which outpaced the annual growth rate of domestic PhD recipients by 156%. Moreover, 85% of graduates were found to either self-identify as White or Asian. Less than 10 Hispanic and no more than 20 Black graduates were produced in any of the years examined. Of the 76% of graduates that reported having a job offer or accepted a position upon graduation, most entered the academy despite the overall average starting salary ($59,484) being considerably lower than the starting salary for their counterparts entering industry ($84,918), government ($69,970), or other educational institutions ($81,428).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalEducational Measurement: Issues and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Darius Singpurwalla and Kelly Kang, project officers for the Survey of Earned Doctorates, for their assistance in obtaining data related to nationality, ethnicity, and subfield for individuals majoring in educational assessment. An additional thank you is owed to Samuel Ihlenfeldt at the University of Minnesota for providing helpful feedback. A version of this work was presented at the 2019 annual conference of the National Council on Measurement in Education in Toronto, Canada.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the National Council on Measurement in Education


  • STEM doctoral education
  • diversity
  • doctoral education
  • educational measurement
  • gender disparity
  • graduate supply
  • psychometrics
  • race disparity


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