Monday, February 10, 2014

"And the little streams of alcohol / Come trickling down the rocks..."

It might be a giant maraschino cherry,
or it might be a mirage...
Credit: ibiblio.org
In a discussion on an ecology listserv on the poverty surrounding young Ph.D.s and adjuncts, a full professor of economics comments (emphases mine):
I haven't been able to follow the entire thread but one thing I draw from what I have read is that it is incumbent on those of us who work with students at all stages in their academic careers to also advise them to consider the job market in their chosen disciplines.  In so doing, they make more informed decision and they study with eyes open wide on the possibilities open to them at the next stage in their life and career journey.  Much easier said than done.   
It reminds me of two PhD markets in recent years.  One, where hundreds of applicants vied for the reported 2 or 3 job openings that year and second the hundreds of positions open for the 2 or 3 PhD candidates graduating each year.  Hopefully we advise our students of the job market realities.   
One place a student might look for this information can be found here.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/occupation-finder.htm
Could someone please tell me of this field where there are more than 200 open positions for the 2-3 Ph.D. candidates graduating each year? (For that matter, I challenge someone to go through recent Survey of Earned Doctorates data to find the field that is only graduating 2-3 people a year? The lowest I saw for 2012 was 5, in ceramic sciences engineering, which, gee, seems to be a pretty practical field to me. Agriculture seems to be a relatively small field.) "Hundreds of positions"? Someone?

I believe that there are indeed fields where openings go unfilled and they want for students -- to my mind, these fields are rare or have some sort of structural problem that is not the fault of students or faculty. (My (very limited) understanding of the nursing field is that it is difficult to find nursing school instructors, because it doesn't pay as well as, um, being a working nurse. Perhaps I am wrong.)

I would like to believe that the Big Rock Candy Mountain of faculty positions (or, for that matter, other positions) exists, but I have yet to find it. Readers? 

17 comments:

  1. PhD in Accounting. Apparently, you will have schools vie for you when competing salaried and bonuses.

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  2. Ditto the accounting PhD comment.

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  3. I guess my next question is why we need so many accounting professors to churn out so few Ph.D. accountants? If there is such a demand for instructors, why not hire some non-Ph.D.s?

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    1. Accreditation!!

      http://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/business/standards/2013/academic-and-professional-engagement/standard15.asp

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    2. From talking to a friend who just finished her masters in accounting it sounds like there are so few Ph.D. accountants because the only reason you get a Ph.D. in accounting is to teach it. So unless you really want to teach there is no reason to move on since you can make plenty of money with a masters as a CPA or accountant at some big firm. As to why they don't hire non Ph.D.s for teaching positions part of it probably has to do with appearances. With most people use to seeing college level classes taught by professors with Ph.D.s, if a school had an accounting dept. filled with professors with masters degrees it might look bad to incoming students even if the quality of education was the same.

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  4. Teaching positions often held by non-PhD. Research positions where teaching load is light are the high-salary ones.

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    1. (This was in reference to accounting)

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  5. I know a full professor of accounting (PhD) who makes $300 K a year; she works about a 35 hr week.

    Life is terribly unfair.

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  6. "I know a full professor of accounting (PhD) who makes $300 K a year; she works about a 35 hr week"

    Yes, but 35 hr/week of accounting.....that has got to be its own special kind of hell.

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    1. I assume that was tongue-in-cheek.

      Teaching accounting is a pretty sweet gig in comparison to most things I'd be willing to do for $300k/year.

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  7. What does an accounting dissertation look like? What are the challenging philosophical or developmental problems that accounting faces today? How does one further develop the field of accounting?

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    1. Counting by two's I suppose.

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    2. " What are the challenging philosophical or developmental problems that accounting faces today? How does one further develop the field of accounting?"

      This is a golden age for creative accounting.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/business/apples-tax-strategy-aims-at-low-tax-states-and-nations.html

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    3. Would a specialty in "Creative Accounting" get one a position in a good company/university or brought up on tax-evasion charges?

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  8. Before the formation of Materials Science and Engineering departments in the 1960s, a good fraction of today's 743 materials science Ph.D.s would have been categorized in "ceramic sciences engineering," "metallurgical engineering," or "polymer and plastics engineering."

    "Five" is a vast under-counting of the number of Ph.D.s granted to ceramists.

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