Frequency of doctorates in various fields

Frequency of doctorates in various fields

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It was written about in the previous article in which subjects a doctorate is worthwhile and it makes sense. But which subjects have the most doctorates? What is the frequency of PhDs in different departments?

Current numbers

That Center for the Development of Higher Education (CHE) has in him “In the spotlight: doctorates as an indicator of the performance of universities – evaluation of the data of the Federal Statistical Office and the CHE ranking 2019/20” looked at the frequency of doctorates in various subjects. For this purpose, data from the CHE university ranking, especially the indicator of doctorates per professor, and data from the Federal Statistical Office were evaluated.

2017 have accordingly 28,404 people PhD in Germany. Combined with the number of professors at universities, theological, pedagogical and art schools, this means In 2017, each professor supervised an average of one doctoral student as the first supervisor. However, this does not mean that there is individual support for PhDs. Because the PhD is a lengthy process that stretches over years, each professor supervises, on average, more than one person as a first supervisor. Secondary supervision as well as bachelor and diploma theses would also be added.

Doctorates in departments

In the next step, the focus of CHE dealt with the frequency of doctorates from various fields. First it was about them absolute figures averaged over the years 2015 to 2017. During this time it was far most medical doctorates given. This was followed classical natural sciences biology, chemistry and physics. The numbers are also four digits long engineering and legal sciences was. The fewest doctorates were in the fields of architecture and theology.

In the next step, these data and results were compared with state exams, master’s and diploma degrees from those years, in order to realistically assess the frequency of doctorates in different departments. The subject is at the top of the list biology. Here they are from 2015 to 2017 86.2 percent of Master’s degree graduates also successfully completed their Ph.D. In second place follows Chemistry WITH 78.9 percentinstead of three physics WITH 64 percent and in fourth place medicine WITH 63.3 percent. Also in Veterinary medicine and dentistry values ​​are 49 and around 48 percent. engineering in this percentage calculation, it reaches only 25.3 percent. Also legal sciences they only reach a value of 13.4 percent and are thus third from the last place. Penultimate place occupied business administration with 7.1 percent. Last place goes to architecture with 5.8 percent of master’s graduates pursuing a Ph.D.

From these figures, CHE deduces that The importance of a PhD varies depending on the subject be. In biology, according to the data, a doctorate is a kind of unofficial standard qualification. The doctorate is also still widespread and therefore common in the other classical natural sciences and human medicine. In business administration, on the other hand, a doctorate is less important, especially considering that only data from people with university degrees were counted. If university graduates in this field were also taken into account, the percentage would be even lower.

The number of doctorates is thus divided by field of study.

Doctorates for professorship

In addition, the data from the CHE ranking were evaluated in the center of attention. It was no longer about the frequency of doctorates by department, but about Number of doctorates per professor and subjects. In the area engineering on average, depending on the subject, professors supervised between 0.9 and 1.7 promotion. An average of 1.7 doctorates were conducted in the fields of engineering, materials and process engineering.

This subject information was not included in the CHE rankings used biology, chemistry and physics listed, therefore data from past rankings were used here. in biology accordingly, they supervised professors on average 2.2 doctorates, v Chemistry 2.0 and in Physics 1.0 promotion. in mathematics the average is below the national average of 1.0, namely 0.5 percent. Otherwise, the average values ​​for other subjects in mathematics, computer science and science would be around the national average.

In the area medicine and pharmacy According to CHE, the average values ​​of doctorates per professor are around 2.0. In the area dentistry however, the value is 7.1, which is by far the highest value. However, this value is misleading, since all medical professors can direct doctorates in this field. In addition, only those who explicitly hold the professorship of dentistry were included as professors of dentistry.

In the group Law and economics was the highest average in the range Act with 1.4 identify doctorates to professor. In the area economy there the average was 0.6, which is well below the German average. The other subject groups had roughly the all-German average of 1 doctorate per professor.

Both Linguistics and cultural studies and psychology average values ​​mostly hovered around the German average 1 PhD to professor. Subject values ​​only German Studies, English/American Studies, and Romance Studieswhich had to be determined from older charts are clear Below the average with 0.6, 0.4 and 0.3 doctorates per professor.

Here you can find the CHE publication:

Focused: doctorates as an indicator of the performance of universities – evaluation of the data of the Federal Statistical Office and the CHE ranking 2019/20

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