Job Market Analyses – UPDATED (yet again)

Update (7/14/14): Last week, Leiter replied to Jennings’ comparisons with some data. Jennings responds with newer data, arguing that “recency and time frame” matter.

Update (6/30/14): The Philosophical Gourmet versus Jennings’ Placement Data.

Update (6/25/14): Jennings tells us which departments have relatively high placement rates.

Update (6/20/14): In a new post, Jennings reports that the overall placement rate for new PhDs into tenure-track positions could be as low as 17%.

OP (6/19/14): Philosophy job market placement data from the past few years are analysed in terms of gender and area of specialization by Carolyn Dicey Jennings at NewAPPS.

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concerned faculty
concerned faculty
9 years ago

If these conclusions hold up, all incoming graduate students should be told that they will probably not get a TT job, at least not for 3 – 4 years after getting their PhD.

In particular, faculty should explicitly warn applicants, admittees, and new graduate students that they are probably not going to get a secure job in the academy. They should be warned that if they are planning on spending 5 – 6 years in graduate school in order to get such a job, then they will probably be very, very disappointed, and possibly filled with regret at having forgone so many opportunities for the sake of a failed quest to get a TT job.

I think we should be totally explicit about this. I think potential PhD students should be told this over and over again.

Is there any other profession that invites young people to spend 5 – 6 years toiling towards a goal that 80% will fail to achieve and does not explicitly and regularly warn those invitees of the dangers? Imagine if, after years of medical school and residency, 80% of the capable MDs could not find employment, despite a deep desire to be doctors and the training and ability to do so. Wouldn’t we be at least a little bit disgusted at medical professionals if they failed to alert young people entering medical school of their likely fates?

9 years ago

Those of us in philosophy owe Carolyn Dicey Jennings a big thank you for her work collecting and analyzing this information.

9 years ago

“I think we should be totally explicit about this. I think potential PhD students should be told this over and over again.”

The main problem is that you are asking people who have won the job lottery to give the cold hard facts to their graduate students. I’ve seen many faculty who cleaned up on the market tell their students “you’ll be fine” and have things go poorly for the student. This is really prevalent at top departments.

anon grad
anon grad
9 years ago

For someone coming out of a dept. like mine, I’m set up very well for the job market. But if given the chance to do it all over again, I would not have pursued philosophy this far. I agree that departments should be more explicit about the odds.