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Conflicted about PhD route - jobs available?

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Hello all,

I'm not sure if anyone has posted something about this recently - if so, i apologize for asking a repetitive question. I've been thinking a lot about getting my PhD in criminal justice, but i have struggled to find a job with my CJ MS. I really love CJ but i have to make sure i get a job if i'm going further into academics. I've checked out the bureau of labor statistics for information about CJ/criminology employment, but it is a bit confusing. I've looked at the post-secondary teachers and the sociologists tab, and the employment outlooks don't look all that stellar. Perhaps i'm wrong and there are lots of jobs out there for CJ PhD holders? I'm trying to get an idea of how competitive it will be. I can't afford to not find a job after i earn a doctorate. I'm completely okay with being a professor or a researcher, but i need some kind of information before i commit to it to ease my stress.

Thank you!

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Hi! I think it is a really good idea to look into this stuff before you decide to go the PhD route. If you are interested in higher education, from what I have heard the job market in CJ is actually really strong at the moment. However, who knows will it will be in 5 years. Here is a website to help you:

http://www.adpccj.com/surveys.html --> Reports from the ADPCCJ (association of doctoral programs in criminology and criminal justice) which include job placement info as well as other relevant stats about grad school from the last 10 years

http://www.adpccj.com/documents/2016survey.pdf --> Direct link to the 2016 report.

From the 2016 report: 

"Figure 7 shows that not only is the employment rate among recent graduates [from the doctoral programs included] very high – 94 percent are known to be employed in a tenure-track academic position, a local, state, or federal research agency, or a private research firm – but also that academic positions are by far the most prevalent mode of employment for almost 60 percent of graduates."

I was in your shoes 2 years ago, albeit without my MS yet. If you have any questions, send a PM!

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I was in your situation before. I had difficulty getting a job with just an MS as well. I applied to a PhD program anyway, got accepted, worked for 2 years as a GA doing research, teaching, etc. After finishing classes and comps and getting some papers published in journals I have now easily able to get job offers for research positions without having finished the phd. If you can get a PhD funded offer, you could use it to get research experience to help you get a job offer. 

Edited by Criminologist
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