waddle Posted January 29, 2011 Share Posted January 29, 2011 I've been browsing through the lists of alumni posted by graduate programs and professors at my prospective graduate institutions (you know, those "where are they now?" pages), and I've observed something odd. Seems to me like the alumni of Ph.D. programs at very prestigious private institutions (I'll call them "Ivy" schools--see note below) overwhelmingly end up in one of just a few career tracks soon after graduation: (1) for the lucky/superstar ones, as an Assistant Professor (that is, tenure-track) at an R1 university (those with 'Very High Research Activity' in the current Carnegie classification); (2) as an Assistant Scientist or Assistant Research Professor (non-tenure-track) at an R1 institution; or (3) have fallen off the face of the Earth (more like still slaving away on soft money somewhere after a postdoc or three). I have only come across just a handful of names of former students who are now employed at a no-name state university or a community college. Assuming that basically all (>90% or so, from what professors tell me) of the students who attend these graduate programs based at Ivies that are highly regarded in academic circles actually wish to stay in academia on the tenure-track after receiving a Ph.D., why aren't there more of them employed at these (less-well-regarded) types of institutions? Is it because Nowhere State University (at which a professor's research/teaching ratio is ~40/60 or less) won't hire a Ph.D. from Columbia, orbecause your average Ph.D. from Columbia wouldn't want to work at Nowhere State University (and would much prefer a >70% research job, even if it means relying on soft money for their entire career as a research scientist, given the competitiveness of the academic job market)? TL;DR: Does a Ph.D. from an "Ivy" restrict your academic job options such that it makes it difficult to obtain a position that is not primarily focused on research? Thanks! waddle P.S. This question is most relevant to the STEM fields, but feel free to chime in even if you're not in the natural sciences/math/whatever. Thanks! P.P.S. I'm using "Ivy" in a non-strict sense to encompass all very prestigious private institutions with huge research output (think not only Columbia, but also Stanford & co.). Also, yeah, I picked on Columbia today. Sorry Columbia people, if you're out there. P.P.P.S. Although I posted this in the Jobs forum, this is more relevant for my decision as to which Ph.D. program to attend (i.e. non-"Ivy" but still R1 graduate institution (the alumni of which tend to find jobs at Nowhere State Universities) vs. an "Ivy"), as I intend to stay in academia after my degree, but hopefully in a position in which I can do at least as much teaching as research. tannerboy 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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