What’s New at Academic Placement Data and Analysis?


Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA) is a project that aims to “collect, analyze, and distribute data on job placement for graduates of PhD programs in philosophy.”

from “Dear Data” by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec

The project is led by philosopher Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced). Since it has been a little while since I last posted about APDA, asked Professor Jennings to provide some background for readers. She writes:

I have been the principle investigator for Academic Placement Data and Analysis for several years now, working with 12 graduate and 8 undergraduate students on the project. Over that time period we have gathered information from about nearly 14,000 PhD students and recent graduates in philosophy: demographic information, area of specialization, graduating program and year, placement type, institution, and year, and various survey questions assessing matters related to graduate experience and employment.

Each year we have run data gathering efforts, data checks, and maintenance tasks to make sure that the information is complete but also as free as possible from duplicates and errors. Sources include placement officers, who have a personalized dashboard, individuals in the database, who have a personalized dashboard, placement pages, library catalogues with lists of past dissertations, LinkedIn profiles, and other public online information. We have released several reports about each year’s efforts, funded largely by the American Philosophical Association’s small grants program (see the “about” page linked above).

Professor Jennings also described the latest developments at APDA:

At the moment our data gathering and maintenance efforts are not funded, and so I have decided to do the updating myself through weekly posts, covering two randomly paired programs per week. For each post I have gone through the data to check for errors and to make the placement records as accurate as possible. I have then reported information that has been available in earlier reports but that is now updated, such as whether past graduates would recommend the program, as well as new information, such as what survey respondents think about financial support by the program.

Much of the information gathered by APDA is summarized in a “running tally”, which is a sortable table. The running tally also has links to the individual blog posts so that readers can dig into the details.

It is my hope that this will be useful to those seeking good information about philosophy PhD programs, so suggestions as to framing and content are welcome. I am happy to adjust the model as I proceed over the next year to complete this project.  

Thanks to Professor Jennings for developing and maintaining this resource.


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