Philosophy Placement Data: An Update on APDA

Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA), a project funded by the American Philosophical Association (APA) and headed by Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), aims “to make information on academic job placement useful to prospective graduate students in philosophy.” The project has just been updated to include new data, which Professor Jennings describes in a post at New APPS. She also announces a new interactive data tool with which one can sift through and sort information, that looks like this:


The APDA 2016 Final Report informs us that the database has grown:

We had 1,862 graduates in June 2015 and we now have 4,337 graduates, in August 2016 (and 2,659 placements in June 2015 to 5,761 placements today).

Here’s some more detailed information from the report:

Other than those graduates with unknown primary AOS, most were in Ethics (11%, 495), followed by Social/Political Philosophy (6%, 241), Philosophy of Mind (5%, 228), Epistemology (5%, 221), Ancient Philosophy (4%, 191), Metaphysics (4%, 188), Philosophy of Science (4%, 187), Continental Philosophy (4%, 185), Modern Philosophy (4%, 175), Philosophy of Language (3%, 151), Applied Ethics (3%, 117), Philosophy of Cognitive Science/Psychology/Neuroscience/Linguistics (2%, 105), Logic (1%, 62), 19th/20th Century Philosophy (1%, 57), Philosophy of Art/Aesthetics (1%, 54), Metaethics (1%, 53), Asian Philosophy (1%, 51), and Philosophy of Biology (1%, 45). (19 other fields yield less than 1% of the total graduates.)

66% of the graduates are men (2845), 27% are women (1160), 330 are unknown (8%), and a fraction of a percentage are “other” (1) or “prefer not to answer” (1).

93% of the graduates have an ethnicity (4040) and race (4025) that are currently unknown or “prefer not to answer,” with 6% white, non-Hispanic (279) and the other percent Asian, non-Hispanic (20) or “two or more races,” non-Hispanic (13).

There are also these interesting findings from Chelsea Gordon and Sam Spevack:

Gender is a significant predictor of how participants answer the question “how likely are you to recommend this program to other prospective students?”, with women being less likely to recommend their program. This is a significant effect (p .01).

Those who have permanent placements rate their PhD programs higher (are more likely to recommend them) than those with temporary placement positions. (p < .01). Postdocs tend to rate in between. Interestingly, this could be an effect of better programs providing better placements, or of people with permanent positions judging their previous programs as better because of their positive outcome and higher level of satisfaction.

Using LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count) for the free response questions in the survey, those with temporary positions talk about money more, and women talk about affiliation more (and these reach significance in a linear mixed model).

For all programs with 5 or more respondents, we have a set of key words that graduates tended to use to describe that program. We will make this data public in the near future to help provide a snapshot of graduate programs, especially for the sake of prospective graduate students.

There is a signficant interaction between response on confidence rating and gender in predicting recommendation likelihood, (p < .04). Women with higher confidence are more likely to recommend their graduate programs, while men with higher confidence are less likely to recommend theirs.

The graphs below are based graduates from between 2012 and 2016.  Jennings writes, “We have not yet started checking new data (program representatives have added over 400 graduates since August 15th), so there may be some errors (including those noted here). We are currently working on writing up some results from the survey into one or more papers, which should be available sometime in early 2017. Feedback is welcome!”

See the New APPS post and the APDA site for further details.

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