Bad market for research PhD’s

7/9/2012: From the WaPo:

Traditional academic jobs are scarcer than ever. Once a primary career path, only 14 percent of those with a PhD in biology and the life sciences now land a coveted academic position within five years, according to a 2009 NSF survey. That figure has been steadily declining since the 1970s, said Paula Stephan, an economist at Georgia State University who studies the scientific workforce. The reason: The supply of scientists has grown far faster than the number of academic positions.

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4 Responses to Bad market for research PhD’s

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    Yeah, this is no dog-shit. This is a real problem that we (both gov’t and higher ED) have not adequately dealt with. We have saturated our science faculty infrastructure a while go – the baby boomer retirement wave is also partial compensation for this. Terminal postdocs are now becoming the defacto reward for the PHD.
    It sucks on all levels.

  2. David M. Luebke says:

    Perhaps United Academics can help push the administration toward greater investment in new faculty lines, to go with the explosion of undergraduate and graduate enrollments over the past dozen years. It seems to have helped at UConn.
    http://articles.courant.com/2012-06-06/health/hc-uconn-hiring-faculty-0607-20120606_1_university-plans-full-time-faculty-tuition-increase-plan

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t see anything in that article supporting your assertion that the union helped encourage faculty hiring at UConn.

    • Anonymous says:

      dog says

      http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2011/09/during_the_next_decade_high.html

      is a succinct summary of the college enrollment projections out to 2019.
      These projections are usually pretty accurate and therefore universities
      do have time in advance to scale their faculty lines.

      In the case of the UO this is a particularly good data point.

      Nationwide from 1994 to 2008 college enrollment grew by 34% – the UO
      certainly didn’t scale like that in terms of TTF – then of course since
      2008 the UO has had the enrollment surge …

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