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How hard is it to secure a tenure track position in Statistics in Canada or US?


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I am a student who is just finishing up a Master’s degree in Statistics. I am planning to enroll in a PhD program in Statistics in this coming September.

My goal right now is to secure a tenure track assistant professor position in statistics at some point after my PhD. Some of my Professors had told me that in my country (Canada), a good PhD graduates are hired as an assistant professor straight after their PhD. But what I am seeing on the internet is that people are typically doing one or more years of postdoc after their PhD in hope of landing a tenure track job. So I am wondering how hard it actually is for a Statistics PhD graduates to land a tenure track job? Is PostDoc absolutely required in most cases? If yes, what is the typical length that people do their Post Doc (roughly)?

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It is not impossible to go straight from PhD to tenure-track faculty, but in order to get a job at an R1, you almost always need one or two publications accepted in top journals (think: JASA, JRSS-B, Biometrika, Annals of Statistics, Annals of Probability, Biometrics). The successful job candidates I have seen who went straight from their PhD to TT jobs usually had two or three in press in the aforementioned venues by the time they were on the job market. This is quite an impressive feat for a PhD student, but a handful of Stanford, Chicago, Berkeley, Columbia, UPenn Wharton, Michigan, etc. grads really do accomplish this (they really are *that* good).

I have seen some PhD graduates get jobs right out of their doctorate at teaching colleges or regional state schools without top publications though. Usually one or two pubs is still preferred but they don't necessarily need to be in top journals. If you are someone who loves teaching more than research, these are good institutions to look for jobs at. 

Edited by Stat PhD Now Postdoc
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