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Does rank correlate with placement?


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Hey all,

Does rank correlate with placement? by that I am asking if on average does the higher ranking of a program correlate with better placement of its grads? 

In theory this should be true, right? like the obvious thinking is that the higher ranked a program is, the better placement its grads will have. But then there are cases that I've noticed where top 20 programs have fairly poor placement, or lower ranked schools have pretty high placement, so does it really matter? 

Also, I realize that you can obviously get great placement even if you go to a lower ranked program, I am talking more about on average. 

While I'm sure there are other examples of this, I am referring specifically to two cases, UT-Austin being ranked in the top 20 and having a fairly poor placement record and CU-Boulder being in the 40 range while having a pretty good placement record. 

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I guess I want to qualify what I first said a little bit. There are notable exceptions to this rule when a school is particularly good at one or two things and mediocre (relative to the one thing they're fantastic at) at most other things. These include: 

Brown for theory

Notre Dame for theory 

Stony Brook for political psychology

To an extent, Rochester for game theory

 

For Rochester and stony Brook at least, the fact that everyone who goes there does that one topic (and does it very well) hurts them in the overall rankings, despite excellent placement. 

Am I trying to say that in any case your chances at a TT are better at Boulder than Austin? No. But unless there's a compelling reason such as "Boulder has the best comparitavist working on really niche topic you're interested in and is highly esteemed by all her peers" there's little reason to expect that your employment outcome coming out of Boulder with be better than from Austin. 

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7 hours ago, eggsalad14 said:

I guess I want to qualify what I first said a little bit. There are notable exceptions to this rule when a school is particularly good at one or two things and mediocre (relative to the one thing they're fantastic at) at most other things. These include: 

Brown for theory

Notre Dame for theory 

Stony Brook for political psychology

To an extent, Rochester for game theory

 

For Rochester and stony Brook at least, the fact that everyone who goes there does that one topic (and does it very well) hurts them in the overall rankings, despite excellent placement. 

Am I trying to say that in any case your chances at a TT are better at Boulder than Austin? No. But unless there's a compelling reason such as "Boulder has the best comparitavist working on really niche topic you're interested in and is highly esteemed by all her peers" there's little reason to expect that your employment outcome coming out of Boulder with be better than from Austin. 

Thanks for letting me know!

That is what I thought, I guess I was just a bit surprised when I saw that CU-Boulder had placed people at places like UCSD, U-Chicago, and UCLA while they are ranked around 20 places behind UT-Austin. Im not saying that UT-Austin has poor placement, just that from that I saw they didn't have those types of flashy names that I had noticed at CU-Boulder. 

(Where I found my data)

CU-Boulder: https://www.colorado.edu/polisci/graduate/about

UT-Austin: https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/government/graduate/job-placement-services/Job Placement.php

 

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It's pretty obvious that the Boulder data is a lot less comprehensive (and is the result of cherry picking) than the UT data. 

This link is a lot more representative if what Colorado placement actually is like. Also worth noting that the one elite placement in the last few years (the uchicago guy) is in public administration and not political science, and really isn't directly comparable because almost all "top ranked" Poli sci programs are independent from the schools public administration program.

 https://www.colorado.edu/polisci/graduate/graduate-employment/graduate-placement?category=324

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Just now, eggsalad14 said:

It's pretty obvious that the Boulder data is a lot less comprehensive (and is the result of cherry picking) than the UT data. 

This link is a lot more representative if what Colorado placement actually is like. Also worth noting that the one elite placement in the last few years (the uchicago guy) is in public administration and not political science, and really isn't directly comparable because almost all "top ranked" Poli sci programs are independent from the schools public administration program.

 https://www.colorado.edu/polisci/graduate/graduate-employment/graduate-placement?category=324

oh wow, thanks for that website! that data is so much more informative than what I was looking at. I guess now that I think about it the CU-Boulder data was a bit sketchy, like it didn't seem like they were putting out all of the grad data that they had. those few flashy schools just caught my attention.

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