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21 April 2010

PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences | Supply – Demand disequilibrium

via Graphic Sociology by flaneuse on 4/20/10

Humanities and Social Science PhDs - completion failure and job market failure

Humanities and Social Science PhDs - completion failure and job market failure

What needs work

Actually, the graphics aren’t bad, but the story is depressing for someone nearing the final year of a PhD in sociology. The first one is quite good. I might have added a horizontal line under which the ‘failures’ ended up and above which the ’successes’ floated.

Many people who read this blog are academics and thus familiar with the concept that getting a tenure track job is tough. These graphics do an excellent job of contextualizing what might often seem like personal anxiety to present the problem as a mismatch between supply and demand. There are far more PhDs minted each year than we need and there would be even more if everyone who started down the PhD path actually finished. Who is to blame? For an answer to that question, link to the article (in references below).

Otherwise, just get depressed looking at the graphic story.

References

Cohen, P. (8 April 2010) The Long Haul Degree. In The New York Times, Education Life section.

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