Quarex Posted March 28, 2008 Share Posted March 28, 2008 Going into this whole process, I downplayed my interest in analyzing American political systems and policy, keeping it firmly mixed in with my interest in comparative systems. I imagined Americanism as a basic death sentence when it came to either getting accepted by a program, due to heavy competition, or to ultimately finding a job. After all, I reasoned, surely studying America is far and away the most common thing for Americans to do! Then I actually started reading about jobs, and seeing some things that made me do a double-take. For example, the "Getting What You Came For" graduate studies book, which is seemingly cited as a must-read for any graduate student, directly says that American Politics graduates are going to have a comparatively easy time finding employment. Now, this was a little over a decade ago, and I imagine plenty has changed since then--but why was/is this field lagging behind in competitiveness? Is it just because every political science department in the country needs at least one, and likely more, American specialists, whereas anything else is open to personal departmental preference? Or is it really the case that Americans studying America are less common in this field? Even beyond this question, it would be interesting to get other good sources talking about the overall political science job market. This is something that we need to be thinking about the entire time we are in school, whether we realize it or not, as gainful employment is likely the preferred end result of finishing a doctorate. It is hard to imagine that anyone who has given the issue a lot of thought would say "eh, just kick back and take it easy for a few years, then figure out where you want to work after you graduate!" I have been trying unsuccessfully to relocate the graph showing average numbers of job postings available in the last few years in each different field (this one showed ~200 places for American and Comparative, ~180 for International Relations, and 60 or fewer for Public Policy and Political Theory, if this helps anyone help find it). Surely this is not the only set of data out there, either. In any case, it seems that there may well be a fair amount of good advice in this area waiting to be unearthed, but other threads are mostly focused on the application/admittance process, so it seemed logical to start this up. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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