Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Ph.D. Placement Project

Hey all! Long time no talk!!

I'm writing today because everyone who hasn't already done so should head over to the Chronicle of Higher Education and contribute to their new Ph.D. Placement Project. There are numerous ways to do this - you can take the anonymous survey (if you've completed your Ph.D.), follow them on Twitter, email them directly (PhDPlacement at Chronicle dot com) if you have any ideas for how they should proceed, or sign up for their email list to receive updates on the project.

(This wonderful project seems to primarily be a response to William Pannapacker's most recent column in the Chronicle, where he laments the lack of data on Ph.D. job placements. Kudos to the Chronicle for trying to tackle this challenge and to assemble the necessary data).

They've already received more than 600 responses, and they are clearly excited about the huge response to their initial survey. But as they write in that article, this is just the first step in what they intend to be a much larger project:
...the survey we've posted is only a starting point. We intend to use it to collect ideas and advice that will help us determine how best to proceed in collecting detailed, accurate placement information.
When we publish placement information about individual Ph.D. programs, it will be based on a formal research project, not on a Google survey.
In short, if you're interested in the issue of placement rates and Ph.D. programs, please keep communicating with us.
At this point they are only collecting survey data from people who have completed their Ph.D.s ... so if you're a current grad student or a dropout like me, you can't take the survey. However, you can still follow them on Twitter, email them with suggestions, and sign up for their email list. So if you haven't finished your Ph.D. but you are interested in this project, there are ways to get involved.