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ERIC Number: EJ848816
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-10
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
It's Tough out There for New Ph.D.'s, but Some Colleges Give Graduates a Leg up
Roberts, Lee
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n41 pB20 Jul 2009
Todd Wolfson just finished graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, and already he's landed a tenure-track teaching job in journalism and media studies at Rutgers University. One might think he's the embodiment of the academic dream, in which the struggle to earn a Ph.D. has long provided an entree to a fulfilling academic career. But Mr. Wolfson is not typical. He earned two doctorates, in communications and education, at an Ivy League university. He took advantage of a strong career-services department. And he even helped start a nonprofit group. In short, he was an exceptional candidate. "Many institutions have decided to take fewer [graduate] students but to fund them, nurture them, and support them, and that helps them finish," says Julia Miller Vick, senior associate director of career services at Penn. "Ultimately, the people accepted are people who won't have much trouble finding a job." In an era in which tenure-track jobs are disappearing rapidly and where university budgets are contracting faster, the challenge to transform a Ph.D. into a tenured academic position may be greater than it has been in years. The competition for jobs is most acute in the humanities and in the social sciences, where hundreds of candidates might apply for just about every tenure-track opening. The combination of universities overproducing Ph.D.'s and the recent recession means many doctorate recipients could travel down a long and expensive road that will ultimately lead to frustration and underemployment. So who out there is doing a good job preparing their doctoral candidates for life after the dissertation? Penn, for one, has been one of the colleges at the forefront for many years. At most universities the interaction between the career-services department and individual academic departments varies widely, Ms. Vick says. It is important to find a department in your field of study that actively supports its students' career advancement, she says.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A