Wednesday, 4 December 2013

AHA Study on PhD Graduates

The AHA has recently released results from a study of 2,500 PhD graduates in history, between the years 1998 and 2009 (click here).

Below is a summary of the results:

  • The overall employment rate for history PhDs was exceptionally high: only two people in the sample appeared unemployed, and none of them occupied the positions that often serve as punch lines for jokes about humanities PhDs—as baristas or short order cooks.
  • Figure 1Just over half of the PhDs in our sample—50.6 percent—were employed on the tenure track at a four-year institution, and another 2.4 percent held tenure-track positions at two-year colleges (Figure 1).
  • Specialists in US history were nearly 25 percent less likely to be employed on the tenure track than were specialists in other fields, but significantly more likely to be employed in history work outside the professoriate.
  • Receiving a PhD from a top-ranked institution improved the odds of making it onto the tenure track at a research university.
  • Gender played little role in employment patterns across particular professions and industries.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the PhDs in academic positions remained in or near the region in which they earned their degrees, but faculty who remained in the same region as their doctoral studies were significantly more likely to be employed off the tenure track.

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