Publication Date

February 21, 2013

Further on the topic of higher education and the job market for doctoral students, Jordan Weissmann has published an article for the Atlantic illustrating (through a series of seven charts) the job prospects for recently graduated Ph.D.’s in the humanities, science, education, and other programs. Based upon the lack of postdoctoral spots, he finds humanities scholars are “both more likely to have a job upon graduating than any of their peers in the sciences and more likely to be searching for employment.”

Education designed by Thibault Geffroy from The Noun Project

In the 2012 Jobs Report, Deputy Director Robert Townsend echoed Weissmann’s data, and found that even with the recent increase in job advertisements, the a growing number of students earning doctorates each year is putting  a “squeeze on full-time faculty positions.” Science and engineering doctorates reported similar unemployment rates, leading Weissmann to argue “[the] next time you hear a politician talking about our lack of science talent, remember all those young aerospace engineers, chemists, physicists who will still be casting around for a gig after they’re handed a diploma.”

Weissmann’s article is already trending on Twitter amongst historians who have taken it as an opportunity to discuss some of the perils historians face while struggling on the job market. William Pannapacker tweeted “Yes, for humanities graduates, it can be another three years added to 9.5 years. A lot to ask for relatively low pay” and Joseph Adelman responded “@pannapacker @RBTatAHA ‘Good people will find jobs’ is also deeply corrosive for the many who struggle to find a job. #notyourfault.”

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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