Last week, The Chronicle of Higher Ed took up William Pannapacker* challenge set forth in the article "Just Look at the Data, if You Can Find Any" to do a reliable (scientific) study of PhD job placement in this country. I think this is a great idea.
The goal of this study is to figure out if the current employment status of PhDs is as good as Universities and Federal Funding sources like to tell us (only 2% unemployment!), or as bad as it feels (Yes, I am employed but I earn less than a bus driver and I hate it, etc). No matter what the outcome, I am excited to follow this project.
The Chronicle is just in the early stages of this research. They are currently reaching out to its large network of PhDs for help, advice, and completion of pilot surveys. So please go to the original article "Just Look at the Data, if You Can Find Any", and get involved. I did.
*William Pannapacker is a Columnists and Blogger for The Chronicle of Higher Ed. Contributor to The New York Times and Slate Magazine. And founding Director of Andrew Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts and Humanities at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.