Graduate School Philosophy Placement: Welcome

Welcome to the main page for Philosophy News' Graduate School Philosophy Placement Report. This homepage will provide a more ordered presentation of our work and easier navigation.

Welcome to the main page for Philosophy News'  Graduate School Philosophy Placement Report.  This homepage will provide a more ordered presentation of our work and easier navigation.

Articles:

PhD Level

The Placement Report for Analytic Ph.D. Programs

A report on job placement trends in philosophy since 2000 for Analytic PhD programs.  We also look at trends in areas of specialty and the gender of graduate students since 2000.

The Placement Report for Continental Ph.D. Programs

A report on job placement trends in philosophy since 2000 for Continental PhD programs.  We also look at trends in areas of specialty and the gender of graduate students since 2000. A comparison of the Analytic vs. Continental job markets is also included.

Graduate School Philosophy Placement: The Leiter Report

An analysis of how The Leiter Report’s faculty rankings correlate with tenure-track/permanent/tenured placement rankings for Analytic PhD programs.

The Placement Report Based on School Prestige

A report on “prestige” placement trends for Analytic PhD programs since 2000.  We use the Analytic MA and PhD program rankings from The Leiter Report, as well as the US News National University and Liberal Arts College rankings to rank Analytic PhD philosophy programs by the quality of placement their students have on average.

Trending Topics and Words in Philosophy Dissertations

A little analysis on common words in Analytic philosophy dissertations since 2000.  Which words are popular and unusual?  Find out here.

 

MA Level

The Placement Report for Terminal Analytic MA Programs

A report on job and program placement trends in philosophy since 2000 for terminal MA Analytic programs in philosophy.   Which MA programs are the best at getting students into good PhD programs?  Do most MA students go on to study philosophy?  What do students do after their MA if they do not go into academic philosophy?  Click here to find out.

 

Surveys:

How Long Is Placement Data Useful?

How long is placement data useful for current and future graduate students?  Take our survey to let us know what you think.

What Type of Initial Job Placement Position is Most Valuable?

Is a tenure-track position better than a post-doctoral position?  Is a temporary lecturing position at a great school preferred to a tenure-track position at a poor school? Take our survey to let us know what you think.

 

Interviews:

Philosophy as a Career: Think Long and Hard About Thinking Long and Hard

Studying philosophy can train your mind, help you reason, and almost certainly enrich your life. But what can you do with a degree? Hear from three philosophy majors who now work in other fields on the value of their degree, the pitfalls in pursuing full-time work in philosophy, and some recommendations on how to navigate the often muddy career waters for philosophers.

A Conversation with Dr. Sandy Goldberg on Getting a Job In Philosophy

In this engaging and informative podcast, we talk with Dr. Sandy Goldberg, chairman of the philosophy department at Northwestern University. The catalyst for our conversation was the Philosophy News placement reports and in this interview, we talk with Dr. Goldberg about how his university prepares students for the job market. We also talk about where philosophy as a discipline might be headed, and what the job market may look like in the future.

 

Other:

How Were These Reports Made?

Click above to find out about how all of the data used in the above reports was and is being gathered.

Further Resources, Articles, and Files

Looking for more resources?  Want to see what other people have said about the above reports?  Want to send us an updated file of your school’s placement records?  Click above to find all of these and more.

Updates to the Report

Click here to find out what data has been recently updated and how the reports have changed since you last visited Philosophy News.

 

Author's Notes:

Given the immense amount of feedback and critique, please be patient with me as I work on updating this article.  My goal is to let the data speak for itself, without bias, prejudice, favoritism, or deception.  I aim to be transparent about all of my methods and where the data comes from.

My requests to you, the philosophical community:

If you have comments or feedback, please post them at the end of the article or send them to me directly.  And if you believe my data is mistaken or if your school's data has been significantly updated recently, please send me the appropriate and complete data for your school, so that I can update the data.

If your school is not listed in the Leiter Report, and you believe your placement record matches or exceeds those that are listed, please send me your data and I'll add you to the list.

Encourage those who control your school's placement data to post it fully, completely, and truthfully on the web in a form similar to what I have outlined here, for the sake of all current and future graduate philosophy students.

 

Thanks,

-Andy Carson

Philosophy News

Graduate School Philosophy Placement: The Leiter Report

All analyses (including new ones) of the Leiter Report have been moved to this article.

The Match: Placement Records, The Leiter Report, and Kind of Placement

Does having a good faculty (Leiter Report) ranking mean that a school will also have a good placement record? In my initial take on this question, I concluded that there is virtually no correlation between faculty rankings and tenure-track/permanent placements.  This was prejudged, however, as many have pointed out.  Schools change faculty frequently.  As the faculty quality increases or decreases, the faculty ranking will increase or decrease, and very likely, the tenure-track/permanent placement ranking will also increase or decrease.  And this changes from year to year.

I had compared tenure-track/permanent placement rankings based on data from 2000 to 2013 to faculty rankings from 2011 only.  However, this was unfair.  Either I needed to compare a school's overall tenure-track/permanent  placement ranking to a school's overall faculty ranking, or I needed to compare a school's placement rank by year to a school's faculty rank by year instead of mixing the two approaches together.  In my second attempt, I corrected that mistake by looking at the average overall faculty ranks compared with the average overall tenure-track/permanent placement ranks.  By attempting to correlate the tenure-track/permanent placement rank with the faculty rank, I discovered that the faculty rank explained (roughly) about 25% of both the initial and current tenure-track/permanent placement ranks. However, that still left about 75% of the tenure-track/permanent placement rank explained by other unknown factors. I concluded that the overall quality of faculty at a school does have an impact on the overall placement success of the school.   However, it only accounts for about 1/4 or 25% of that success.  The other 3/4 or 75% is determined by other unknown factors.

Again, this result was criticized.  It was argued (see comments below) that "placement is backwards-looking and faculty quality is, at least as far as placement goes, forward-looking. If one is looking at placement from 2000-2013, it would be most meaningful to look at PGR ranking from, say, 1995 to 2008, since the students placed 2000-2013 would have been looking at schools during that period."  This point is well taken.  In theory, the best students are going to apply to the best ranked schools at the time of their application.  As such, their placements would not show up for 5-7 years after they have applied to a school.  Consequently, it does make sense to add a time delay between tenure-track/permanent placement rankings and the Leiter Report rankings.  I will do so in the following analysis.

The overall assumption of the Leiter Report seems to be that if you go to a school with well ranked faculty, you will get a better placement in both the short term and the long term, and hence, have a more successful philosophy career overall, than if you went to a school with lesser ranked faculty.  I wish to test that assumption.

 If the overall assumption of the Leiter Report is correct, schools with overall faculty ranks that are great should, in general, have tenure-track/permanent placement rankings that are great as well.  Similarly, schools with overall faculty ranks that are poor should, in general, have overall tenure-track/permanent placement ranks that are poor as well.  Is this the case?

Since the Leiter Rankings need to be 5-7 years prior to the tenure-track/permanent placement rankings, I will do three analyses for the moment:

1. Comparing US/CA faculty ranks from 2002-2008 to tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2007-2013 (5 year gap)

I found the rank of average US/CA rankings from 2002-2008 (using the English world rankings and then re-ranking) and then compared these with the tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2007-2013.  In the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.54, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 29% of the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.

 

In the current tenure-track/permanent/tenured placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.47, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 22% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.  However, one can see the formation of a linear trend along with some outliers.  The red line shows a perfect correlation while the blue line shows the actual correlation. 

What effect does removing the 6 or so very obvious outliers from the dataset have on the correlation? The correlation coefficient goes up to 0.74, meaning that the faculty ranking explains 56% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking (without the outliers).

 

Which schools were the outliers and had overall faculty ranks during this period that were pretty average but had great current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking in comparison? Yale University had an average faculty rank of 22, but had the best TT/Permanent placement rank; University of Massachusetts, Amherst had an average faculty rank of 29, but had the second best TT/Permanent placement rank; and the University of Washington had an average faculty rank of 34, but had the third best TT/Permanent placement rank.  Here are all of the outliers:

 

2. Comparing US/CA faculty ranks from 2002-2007 to tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2008-2013 (6 year gap)

I found the average US/CA rankings from 2002-2007 (using the English world rankings and then re-ranking) and then compared these with the tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2008-2013.  In the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.56, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 31% of the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.  In the current tenure-track/permanent/tenured placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.50, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 25% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.  However, one can again see the formation of a linear trend along with some outliers (although they are starting to look less like outliers).

What effect does removing the 6 or so very obvious outliers from the dataset have on the correlation (Note: these outliers happen to be the same schools as above)? The correlation coefficient goes up to 0.76, meaning that the faculty ranking explains 59% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking (without the outliers).

 

3. Comparing US/CA faculty ranks from 2002-2006 to tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2009-2013 (7 year gap)

I found the average US/CA rankings from 2002-2006 (using the English world rankings and then re-ranking) and then compared these with the tenure-track/permanent placement rankings from 2009-2013.  In the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.55, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 31% of the initial tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.  In the current tenure-track/permanent/tenured placement ranking, I found a correlation coefficient of 0.49, meaning that the faculty rank roughly explains about 24% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking.  However, one can again see the formation of a linear trend along with some outliers.  And this time, they do not look so much like outliers since other values are approaching them and filling the gap between.

 

What effect does removing the same schools from before from the dataset have on the correlation? The correlation coefficient goes up to 0.78, meaning that the faculty ranking explains 57% of the current tenure-track/permanent placement ranking (without the outliers).

 

Conclusion:

Based on the foregoing analysis, it appears that faculty rank does not matter so much regarding initial placement into a tenure-track/permanent position. The faculty ranks explains roughly 30% of this placement, meaning that 70% of the placement is explained by other factors.  However, since we should probably expect students from highly ranked schools to go to post-docs/research positions and lecturing positions at highly ranked schools, we should not read too much into this.  On the other hand, we should expect these students to eventually end up at great schools in tenure-track/permanent/tenured positions.  But it appears that faculty rank only explains about 57% of a school's current placement into tenure-track/permanent/tenured positions, and this is after removing outliers which would lower the explanation to about 24%.

While this does not account for the quality of placement, this is a significant result regarding the kind of placement.  For students that are mainly concerned about getting a tenure-track/permanent/tenured position, this analysis shows that faculty rank isn't everything.  Students can go to less prestigious schools and still get a tenure-track/permanent/tenured position in the long run.  In fact, some schools appear to be very good at this sort of placement even though they aren't ranked as highly (e.g., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University).

This is not to say that faculty rank doesn't matter.  It clearly does.  It explains a little over half of the placement.  However, that still leaves most of the other half unexplained...

   

The Match: Placement Records, The Leiter Report, and Quality of Placement

How well do faculty rankings correlate with the quality of placement.  If a student goes to a highly ranked program, will that student be placed into a highly ranked school as a post-doc, lecturer, or tenure-track professor?

I used the average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013.  I then compared this rank with the Prestige rankings (both initial and current) for top MA department placements, top PhD department placements, top US News National Universities, and top US News Liberal Arts Colleges.  Here are the results:

1. Initial MA department placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the initial MA department placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 (i.e., the average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013, re-ranked and including only those departments with an initial MA rank score to normalize the comparison) is 0.178.  This means that the faculty rank only explains about 3% of the initial MA placement rank, which basically means there is virtually no correlation at all.

image 

2. Current MA department placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the current MA department placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.071.  This means that the faculty rank only explains 0% of the current MA placement rank.

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3.  Initial PhD department placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the initial PhD department placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.81.  This means that the faculty rank explains 65% of the initial PhD Department Placement rank.  In the graph below, it is very easy to see the linear trend relating faculty rank and PhD placement rank.  For the most part, as the faculty rank increases, the PhD Department Placement rank increases.

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4.  Current PhD department placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the current PhD department placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.73.  This means that the faculty rank explains 53% of the current PhD Department Placement rank.

image

5. Initial US News National University placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the initial US News National University placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.74.  This means that the faculty rank explains 54% of the initial US News National University placement rank.

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6.  Current US News National University placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the current US News National University placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.72.  This means that the faculty rank explains 52% of the current US News National University placement rank.

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7. Initial US News Liberal Arts College placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the Initial US News Liberal Arts College placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.18.  This means that the faculty rank explains 3% of the initial US News Liberal Arts College placement rank.

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8. Current US News Liberal Arts College placement rank score 2002-2013 vs. re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013

The correlation between the Current US News Liberal Arts College placement rank score for 2002-2013 and the re-ranked average faculty overall English World Rank from 2002-2013 is 0.16.  This means that the faculty rank explains 2% of the Current US News Liberal Arts College placement rank.

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Conclusions:

What does this show us?  We can see that the faculty rank of a school does not correlate with that school’s job placement ranking into great MA departments in philosophy or great Liberal Arts colleges.  However, the faculty rank does appear to be pretty well correlated with that school’s job placement ranking into great PhD departments in philosophy and great National Universities, accounting for over 50% of the placement ranking.

While these results could be interpreted in many different ways, here is my take.  It seems unlikely that graduates coming from great PhD programs could get jobs at great National Universities and in great PhD philosophy departments, but have a difficult time getting jobs in great Liberal Arts colleges or in great MA departments in philosophy.  What seems more likely is that jobs in great PhD departments and in national universities are perceived as the most desirable (from a career perspective) and the most competitive, so the best philosophy graduates seek and attain these job positions. 

In contrast, the jobs at great MA departments in philosophy and at great Liberal Arts colleges may seem less desirable (from a career perspective) so these jobs go to a wide range of graduates.  Some jobs go to graduates from highly ranked programs that are more interested in teaching, living close to family, living in a certain location, etc. than in working at a highly ranked university.  Other jobs go to graduates from lower ranked programs that could not find a job at a prestigious university or department.

These are only speculations as there are many factors that govern an individual’s decision about where to take a job.  However, it seems reasonable to conclude, based on the foregoing data, that, at most, approximately 56% of a philosophy department’s placement quality is determined by its faculty ranking.  That is, at least 44% of a philosophy department placement quality is determined by other factors.

 

Missing: What Else Matters?

Taken together, we can see that only about half of one’s job prospects, both in terms of quality and kind of placement, can be explained by the faculty rank of the school that one attends for his or her PhD in philosophy.

What is missing?

I suspect other factors like salary, general location, closeness to family, and other more personal factors will make up for some of the difference.  However, there are other factors that are more directly comparable which do seem important.  For example, perhaps the school's overall faculty rank isn't as important as much as that school's rank in particular areas of specialty.  If it matches the specialty of that student, then that student will place well.  To test this, I matched the Subfields from the "Breakdown by Specialty"  in The Leiter Report with the primary area of study for each student.  Then, I selected only those students whose PhD school had a Group Number of 1 or 2 in their area of specialty (thus, these students were going to the best schools for their chosen subfield in philosophy). There were approximately 1400 students that fit this description.  How did they place?

They did place better, although not by a whole lot.  Since 2000, in initial placements, 43% (compared to 39%) of these students received a tenure track or permanent position.

 

In terms of current placement since 2000, 60% (compared to 54%) of these students have acquired permanent positions in academic philosophy.

 

Taken altogether, this means that if you are applying to graduate schools in philosophy and are trying to decide which schools you want to apply to or attend, and if you are concerned about your placement prospects after graduation, you need to consider (1) how well a school ranks overall, (2) how well a school ranks in your chosen specialty, and (3) how well that school places students overall.  All three are important components of setting yourself up for a successful career in philosophy. 

Moving Forward: What Next?

We at Philosophy News are working on making this analysis more nuanced.  We will continue to work on rounding out the analysis, responding to criticisms, and updating the data to give the fullest picture of current graduate placement in philosophy as is possible.

Thanks for your patience.

Andy Carson

Philosophy News

What Type of Initial Placement Position is Most Valuable?

What should be given priority in ranking a school based on placement? The prestige of the school that the student secures a job at (regardless of whether it is a post-doc, lecturer/temporary position, or tenure track), or the type of placement that a student receives (regardless of the prestige of the school)? Please answer the survey and let us know.

I have had several comments regarding this article about how to rank schools based on placement.  Here seems to be the breakdown:

For those who think going to a prestigious school is most important, they would probably consider a post-doc or lecturing position at a great school to be preferable to a permanent or tenure track position as a poor school.  For example,

  •  "[M]any students interested in placement are interested in the quality of the jobs, as well as the tenure-stream status. Your way of 'ranking' the schools erases the distinction between placement at a 4/4 school with mediocre students and a placement at Princeton (not to mention all the gradations in between)..."
  • "Giving preference, as you do, to immediate placement in permanent/TT positions has the result that schools which place some of their folks in competitive postdocs will be penalized on your ranking system. But they arguably shouldn't be since such postdocs give one a competitive edge on the job market (particularly with respect to the most desirable TT jobs)."
  • "Of course it's great to know that Northwestern and Hopkins can get graduates tenure track jobs somewhere, but most applicants would like to have a sense of the chances that schools like UChicago, Columbia, Yale, or Notre Dame would get them tenure track in a top-20 department."

On the other hand, there are those (like me), who are most concerned about just getting a tenure-track position, somewhere, anywhere.  As one of my friends put it, "most of the philosophy students I know have kind of given up on the prestigious/non-prestigious job distinction... The real concern seems to be avoiding adjunct hell and having a stable position, not prestige."

As I don't wish to speak for everyone, I'd like to ask you: what should be given priority in ranking a school based on placement? The prestige of the school that the student secures a job at (regardless of whether it is a post-doc, lecturer/temporary position, or tenure track), or the type of placement that a student receives (regardless of the prestige of the school)?

How does one compare a post-doc at a great school compared with a lecturer at a mediocre school compared with a tenure track position at a poor school?  Which is preferable?

Please answer the survey and offer any comments below.  I will use the feedback in developing a formula that will rank schools with more nuance.  Thanks!

 

Please select the answer below which you believe to be the best initial placement offer in each instance in comparison with the alternative.

Post-doc/Researcher or Lecturer/Temporary?

Post-doc/Researcher at a great School or Lecturer/Temporary at a decent school?

Post-doc/Researcher at a decent School or Lecturer/Temporary at a great school?

Post-doc/Researcher or Tenure Track/Permanent?

Post-doc/Researcher at a great school or Tenure Track/Permanent at a poor school?

Post-doc/Researcher at a great school or Tenure Track/Permanent at a decent school?

Lecturer/Temporary or Tenure track/permanent?

Lecturer/Temporary at a great school or Tenure Track/Permanent at a decent school?

Lecturer/Temporary at a great school or Tenure Track/Permanent at a poor school?

Which is best: a lecturer/temporary at a great school compared with a post-doc at a decent school compared with a tenure track position at a poor school?



Show Results

 

Graduate School Placement Records: How The Report Was Made

This article contains the specifics of how I created the philosophy placement rankings. I describe the difficulties, the shortcomings, and the methods for creating the data set, and also how to move forward in creating a more accurate data set and analysis of graduate student placements in academic philosophy.

The following is a report on how my article on philosophy placement records was made.

The Madness

I gathered the placement records from each of the schools listed in The Leiter Report when they were available.  Thus, I had the placement records from approximately 70 different schools in the US, UK, AU, and CA.  There were many difficulties in sorting through this data and combining it into a common and useful format, so much so that what should have taken a few hours took a few months of SQL querying, Excel formulas, and manual copying/pasting/editing.  The difficulties included:

  • Missing Data
    • Area of Specialty
      • This was provided by some schools, but not by others, and when it was provided, it was often grouped together with secondary specialties or other data.
    • Dissertation
      • Many schools did not provide a dissertation title from which I could attempt to derive an area of specialty.  As such, I had to leave the area of specialty blank. 
    • Initial Placement
      • Some schools only had the current placement of a student, which does not help one to figure out the initial placement for students in a program. If I want to know the answer to the question, "where will I start off my career after going to this school?", then this data must be included.
    • Current Placement
      • Some schools only had the initial placement of a student, which does not help one to figure out the current placement for students in a program. If I want to know the answer to the question, "where will I end my career after going to this school?", then this data must be included.
    • Type of Placement
      • Many schools did not explain what type of placement a student had made at a particular university.  Was it temporary?  Tenure-track?  Permanent?  Post-doctoral?  This makes a huge difference in the assessment of a school's placement ability.
    • School Names
      • School names were almost always provided (although not always matched up with a student).  However, these names were often incomplete.  For example, which school does "Cal State" refer to?  California State University, Northridge?  California State University, Long Beach?  California State University, San Bernardino?  How about "St. Mary's", "Boston", "University of Illinois", "Loyola", or "Victoria University"?  Each of these names could refer to several different college or universities. Did you know that there is a "Cornell College" and a "Northwestern College"?  As such, putting only "Cornell" or "Northwestern" will not suffice.
    • Attrition
      • Many schools do not include any information about attrition, that is, students leaving the program before completing it.  Such information would be useful to know, since all most schools report is how many students actually complete the program.  But this does not help prospective students to get a sense of how many students enroll in the program, how many complete the program, and how many drop out of the program.
  • Indeterminate Data
    • Dissertation
      • Oftentimes, it was impossible to determine what a dissertation was about.  For example, what is the dissertation "Knowing What Follows" about?  How about "Meaning Without Theory", "The View from a Rare Oasis",  "Seeing Through", "Space of Exclusion and Inclusion", or "The Employment of Intrinsically Defined Representations and Functions"?  These may be appropriate titles for dissertations, but in terms of helping me understand what philosophical subject they were about, they were useless.
    • Type of Placement
      • Many schools did provide information about the type of placement made, but it was not clear what this meant.  For example, sometimes an Assistant Professor was a tenure-track position, but other times it was not.  Some Lecturers had the equivalent of tenure-track position (this is especially true in the UK and AU), but other times it meant that it was only a temporary, year-to-year, contract job.  Some research positions were full time and prestigious honors while others were ordinary post-docs.  In other words, it was often not clear whether a title meant that the position was post-doctoral, temporary, full time, tenure-track, or tenured (or equivalent).
  • Unorganized and Sloppy Data
    • School Names
      • When I could tell which school a name was referring to, I often still had to do some manual clean up.  "Cambridge University" and "University of Cambridge" may mean the same thing to us, but they don't to a computer, and as such, are treated as different entities until one is manually changed to the other.  "Lawrence College" and "Lawrence University" are in fact the same institution, but again, a computer can't tell the difference.  Here are some other examples, all of which refer to the "University of Notre Dame": "U. Notre Dame", "Univ Notre Dame", "Notre Dame University", "U Notre Dame", "Notre Dame", "Universty of Notre Dame", "Universtiy of Notre Dame," and the list goes on and on for the number of ways one can spell, abbreviate, and misspell a name.
    • Data not in tables
      • Most of the time, the data I encountered was not in a table format.  Usually the data came in some sort of list, with the year of graduation posted, followed by each student that graduated that year and their information.  Usually their information was not listed on the same line as their name, so I had to manually use macros to match up their information with their name so all of the data for a student would be on a single line.  Even then, the data would now be in the form: "LastName, Firstname.  Dissertation (maybe).  AreaOfSpecialty(maybe).  SchoolName (initial placement? current placement), title (tenure-tack? temporary?), (year-maybe); SchoolName (initial placement? current placement), title (tenure-tack? temporary?), (year-maybe);SchoolName (initial placement? current placement), title (tenure-tack? temporary?), (year-maybe)... and so on.  Even this would not be a problem if this format was used across all schools and there was never any missing data.  However, this was not the case.  Sometimes a name was missing, or the first-name would be first, or the schools would be mixed around, or no titles would be listed...  The formats for presenting the data varied from school to school, and at least half of them required a personal macro or hours or copy/paste.
    • All Graduates Not Listed in Placement Record
      • Sometimes the list of all graduates is on one webpage (possibly, a non-departmental page), while the placement record's page only includes those students that are placed.  There are legitimate reasons for doing so (e.g., the placement record reflects those who used the department's placement services).  However, prospective students need to get a sense of how many students total graduated from the program, and what all of them are doing now.  As such, it would useful if at the very least, departments included a link to the total list of graduates on their placement records page. 

I list these difficulties not to complain (ok, a little bit), but for two important reasons.  First, given the nature and number of these difficulties, I hope you will forgive me if I have unfairly and sometimes substantially increased or decreased any school's placement ranking.  I am fairly confident that my rankings with respect to current positions coming from US PhD programs are trustworthy.  However, I am less certain about initial placements from US schools, since I had to make a lot of inferences as to which school was the initial placement and what type of placement it was.  I am even less certain about programs in AU and the UK, since their terminology differs from our own (e.g., a "lectureship" in AU often means the same thing as a tenure-track position in the US).  So please take my rankings with a grain of salt.  This is a first attempt at a difficult problem.

Second, if placement records are to be of any use at all to prospective students, then they need to be understandable within each school's presentation of data.  That means that school names need to be clear, position types need to be specified, and all important information needs to be present.  Otherwise, prospective students will not be able to have a good sense of how the school places its students.  Furthermore, if placement records are to be of any use at all to prospective students, then they need to be comparable across all schools.  I do not know how well "Rutgers University, New Brunswick" places its students until I can directly compare, point by point, how it matches with the placement at "New York University".  If the data are presented differently enough, I might as well be comparing apples and oranges.  Even if I am comparing apples and apples, if it takes me an hour or two to convert one format of data to the same format as another set of data, then it is extremely difficult and time consuming to make any sort of effective comparison.  I kid you not, I have been working on combining this data for a couple months now, and if the data had been presented more effectively and efficiently, it would have only taken a day.  It should not take months for a prospective graduate student to gather and combine the data necessary to make a good decision with respect to job placement.

The Method

As I said before, I gathered the placement data from all of the schools listed on The Leiter Report where it was available.  From this data, I created a data set with the following columns:

  • FirstName
    • The first name of the student.  When it was not available, I used a number as an ID for the student.
  • LastName
    • The last name of the student.  When it was not available, I used a number as an ID for the student.
  • Gender
    • This column had the values of "Male", "Female", and "Unknown".  I had to infer the gender of each student from the first name provided.  To do so, I gathered lists of common male and female names, and when a student's name matched a name in the list, I assigned that student the gender associated with that name.  When I could not determine the gender of the student, I assigned the value "Unknown".
  • PhDSchool
    • The school at which the student earned his or her PhD.  I used the school names as listed on The Leiter Report.
  • FirstPlacementSchool
    • The name of the school at which the student received his or her first job placement.
  • FirstPlacementType
    • The type of first placement a student received.  I grouped the many types I saw into the following categories and assigned each student to one of them:
      • Lecturer/Temporary - any placement that was not a permanent teaching position.  This included some types of assistant professors, lecturers, visiting professors, and yearly contracts.
      • Tenure Track/Permanent - any placement that was a permanent position (though not tenured).  This included most assistant professors, permanent lecturers, and permanent researchers.
      • Tenured - any placement that was a tenured position or equivalent.  This included most associate and full professors and senior lecturers.
      • Not In Academic Philosophy - any placement that was a position outside of academic philosophy.  This included private sector jobs, administrative jobs in academia, and some non-profit positions.  It also included any students that were still seeking or could not find academic philosophy positions.
      • Unknown - any placement that was unknown or indeterminable.
  • CurrentPlacementSchool
    • The name of the school at which the student received his or her current job placement.
  • CurrentPlacementType
    • The type of current placement a student received. These took on the same values as those listed above.
  • Dissertation
    • The name of the student's dissertation.  When this was not provided, a value of "Unknown" was assigned.
  • PrimaryAreaOfStudy
    • The primary area of study. When this was provided, it was listed under one of the following categories: Aesthetics, Continental Philosophy, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Science, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Logic, Ethics, History of Philosophy, and Unknown.  When this was not provided, it was inferred using keywords from the dissertation title (e.g., the keyword "consequentialism" suggests a primary area of study of "Ethics").  Any unknown or indeterminable primary areas of study were assigned "Unknown".
  • YearGraduated
    • The year the student received his or her PhD.

All of my analyses are based off of my data set using these columns and meanings.

Moving Forward

Schools can offer better guidance to prospective students by keeping their placement records neat, complete, and organized in an easily readable, understandable, and flexible format.  I believe the format I have used provides all of the information that a student would be interested in concerning a school's placement record.  If schools use a format like the one presented above, then students can quickly and painlessly compare how different schools rank in their placement, further helping them to make the right decision for themselves as they consider a career in academic philosophy.

If you believe I have grossly misrepresented your school (especially if your school is in the UK or AU) and would like me to correct it, please send me a .csv file, using the same columns and meanings that I have given above, with all of the corrected information. I will update the related article as often as necessary to keep the data current, correct, and fair.  Ideally, this dataset will eventually be on par with The Leiter Report in terms of accuracy, comprehensiveness, and usefulness to graduate students in philosophy.

 

Thanks,

Andy Carson
Philosophy News

Graduate School Philosophy Placement Records In the US and CA: Will I Get a Job?

pr_phd

This article is a thorough analysis of the placement records of most leading PhD philosophy programs. I analyze trends, create rankings, and discuss the issues surrounding and importance of placement records over the past 13 years. I also compare placement rankings with faculty rankings from The Leiter Report, discussing their relationship and how both are necessary for making an informed decision about where (and if) to study philosophy in graduate school.

 

Other Reports

pr_terminalmaThe Placement Report for Terminal MA Programs
pr_prestige_thumb2The Placement Report Based on School Prestige
pr_contential[5]The Placement Report for Continental Philosophy

The Motive: Why do this Study?

As a former graduate student in philosophy (MA, Northern Illinois University), one of my most pressing concerns with regard to pursuing a career in philosophy was whether I would get a job.  And not just any job, but a tenure-track position at a school—any school.  I had heard and witnessed horror stories, some of which involved close friends, regarding adjunct and temporary lecturing positions.  These professors would teach 4-6 classes each semester and make a pittance, often with no health care or retirement benefits.  One such friend was recently let go from his temporary positions.  He was teaching over the maximum amount of hours allowed before benefits would be required under the new healthcare laws, and his schools (like so many others), decided to cut him rather than give him benefits.  Now he has to search for a new career outside of academia after devoting most of his life to its service.

What were the chances that I would follow his fate and only acquire a temporary or adjunct position?  Would I be able to support myself, much less my family, by choosing such a career?  Even if did acquire a tenure-track position at some school in the country, it would only be after 5 to 7 years of graduate student living, and a further 5 or so years of teaching to acquire tenure.  I knew that it would be at least 10 years before I would be in a stable academic position, making a decent though very modest living.  How likely was it that I would achieve this goal?

We have all looked at The Leiter Report at the Philosophical Gourmet.  Such information is extremely valuable in terms of knowing which departments rank best in this or that field of philosophy and which schools are best overall.  However, it has very little to say about placement records (for example, here and here).  For some people, it is very important personally to attend a prestigious school or work with a certain professor in philosophy, so much so that they are less concerned about getting a profitable job in philosophy after they graduate.  However, for me, getting a job after I graduated was more important than whether or not the school I went to was well ranked or if I studied with a certain professor in the field.  What mattered most to me was whether a school placed it students well for a successful philosophy career.  As such, I had to turn to the placement records at each school's individual website and make sense of the differently-formatted, incomplete, and inconsistent data that was provided.

For a variety of reasons, including my assessment of my prospects and the profession as a whole, I ultimately decided to leave academia, and I am now working in the data analysis field.  However, I still have a passion for philosophy and many of my friends are currently in academic philosophy or thinking about pursuing academic philosophy.  For their sakes, my own personal interest, and the sake of anyone else considering an career in philosophy, I decided to undertake a more thorough analysis of placement records to get a sense of the job market for philosophers and any interesting trends in the data.

I gathered the placement records from each of the schools listed in The Leiter Report when they were available.  Thus, I had the placement records from approximately 60 different schools in the US and CA.  There were many difficulties in sorting through this data and combining it into a common and useful format (see here for more information about how this dataset was created).  However, after months of work, my dataset was ready.  (Note: given the nature and number of the difficulties in creating this dataset, I hope you will forgive me if I have sometimes substantially misrepresented any school's placement record.  Please take my rankings with a grain of salt.  This is a first attempt at a difficult problem.)

Here is what I found out...

The Meat: Results, Observations, and Conclusions

I gathered approximately 2,600 placement records since the year 2000.  That is approximately 200 graduates a year (pretty constant from year to year), coming from these top ranked programs.  That does not include the 10s or 100s of students coming from unranked programs.  This means that if you start a PhD program next year (assuming 6 years to PhD completion), there will be an additional 1,200 philosophy students graduating ahead of you, all looking for jobs.

Let's go column by column in looking at the results.

Gender:

Approximately 1/3 of the graduates post-2000 are women, while 2/3 are men.  This ratio seems to be holding steady since 2000, although perhaps women are gaining slightly in recent years.

Does one's gender make a difference, since 2000, in terms of what type of position one gets in philosophy?  I split up "Male", "Female", and "Unknown" values for Gender into the different kinds of Initial and Current Placement Types (i.e., "Lecturer/Temporary", "Post Doc/Researcher", "Tenure Track/Permanent", "Tenured", "Not in Academic Philosophy", and "Unknown"). I then calculated the ratio of total graduates in each Placement Type category by gender to the total number of graduates by gender.  If gender does NOT make a difference, then "Male", "Female", and "Unknown" categories should have roughly the same ratio for each type of placement.  Is this the case?

Not exactly.  Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, women in philosophy are more likely to be initially placed into tenure track/permanent positions than men are.  Both men and women are about equally likely to get post-doctoral/research positions.  Men are more likely to receive lecturer/temporary positions than women are, and they are slightly more likely to not be in academic philosophy after graduating.


When it comes to current placement, men have closed the gap in tenure track position placement, but women still lead slightly.  Women in academic philosophy are still more likely to have a tenure track or permanent position in philosophy than men are.  They are about equally likely to have post-doc/research positions, tenured positions, and to not be in academic philosophy.  Men are slightly more likely to still be in a lecturer/temporary position than women are.

 

Thus, it appears that it is slightly more favorable in terms of career prospects to be a graduating woman in philosophy, especially initially, than a graduating man in philosophy.  However, the advantage is small, so not too much should read into the difference.

PhD School:

As a percentage of total graduates, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul has produced the most graduates since 2000 (5.4%) while Carnegie Mellon University has produced the least (0.54%).  (Note: these percentages do not take into account attrition.  Many students may have left the program before completing a PhD, and consequently, that school's completion ratios will be biased.  Students should ask about attrition at the schools they are interested in.)

PhDPlacement20131105_1

First Placement School:

I noticed that lots of schools place at a particular school over and over again in their initial placement.  This includes a large percentage of initial placements at the school the student is graduating from (usually, as an adjunct or lecturer).  Out of all total initial placements, 5.7% of graduates receive their first position from the school they graduated from.  Below is a list of all of the schools that have initially placed 10% or more of their students at the same school:

PhD School

First Placement School

Ratio
Ohio State University Ohio State University 0.3
University of Alberta University of Alberta 0.23
University of Notre Dame University of Notre Dame 0.22
Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Mellon University 0.21
University of Miami Miami Dade College 0.19
Stanford University Stanford University 0.18
Florida State University Florida State University 0.17
University of Utah Utah Valley University 0.17
Washington University, St. Louis Washington University, St. Louis 0.17
University of Missouri, Columbia University of Missouri, Columbia 0.17
University of Iowa University of Iowa 0.15
University of British Columbia University of British Columbia 0.15
University of Colorado, Boulder University of Colorado, Boulder 0.15
University of Western Ontario University of Western Ontario 0.15
University of California, Davis California State University, Sacramento 0.14
Georgetown University Georgetown University 0.14
University of Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania 0.12
University of Illinois, Chicago University of Illinois, Chicago 0.12
University of Miami University of Miami 0.11
University of California, Los Angeles University of California, Los Angeles 0.11
New York University University of Texas, Austin 0.11
University of Missouri, Columbia University of Texas, Pan American 0.1
University of Washington Coastal Carolina University 0.1
University of Washington University of Washington 0.1

 

First Placement Type:

Since 2000, approximately 39% of graduates received a permanent or Tenure Track position in their initial placement.  Temporary positions comprise 34% of initial placements, post-docs comprise 13% of placements, and 8% of students do not go into academic philosophy (6% are Unknown).  This means that approximately 61% of philosophy graduates do not receive a Tenure Track or permanent position in academic philosophy their first time around.  However, it does mean that 73% of philosophy graduates are teaching philosophy, and at least 86% of graduates are involved in professional philosophy in some way.

 

Is this distribution changing over time?  Since the year 2000, it appears the tenure track/permanent positions have maintained or slightly dipped in percentages while lecturer/temporary positions have increased in terms of initial placement (although they have greatly decreased in recent years).  Post-doc/research positions have increased steadily to the point that one is as likely to get a post-doc as get a tenure-track/permanent position.

image

 

Let's take each of these kinds of initial placement in turn. (Note: I am not here considering the quality of placement (i.e., the strength of the school the student is being placed at).  I am only considering the kind of placement (i.e., tenure-track/permanent, post-doc/researcher, lecturer/temporary, or not in academic philosophy)  Also note that many schools may not have listed all graduates from the program in their placement data, meaning that their various placement rankings will not entirely reflect the actual status of the program).

1. Tenure-Track/Permanent Initial Placements

Which schools initially place the most students into Tenure-Track/Permanent positions?  The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into Tenure-Track/Permanent positions since 2000 are: New York University (71%), Johns Hopkins University (70%), and Harvard University (70%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
New York University 0.71 1
Johns Hopkins University 0.7 2
Harvard University 0.7 3
University of California, Berkeley 0.68 4
University of Arizona 0.67 5
Duke University 0.67 6
Yale University 0.61 7
Rice University 0.6 8
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.59 9
Columbia University 0.56 10
Vanderbilt University 0.55 11
University of Texas, Austin 0.53 12
Syracuse University 0.52 13
University of Pittsburgh 0.5 14
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.5 14
Princeton University 0.49 16
Northwestern University 0.48 17
University of Virginia 0.48 18
University of Chicago 0.45 19
Cornell University 0.44 20
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.42 21
University of California, Riverside 0.42 22
University of California, Irvine 0.41 23
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.4 24
University of Miami 0.37 25
University of Pennsylvania 0.37 26
Boston University 0.36 27
Carnegie Mellon University 0.36 28
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.35 29
University of Maryland, College Park 0.35 30
University of California, San Diego 0.35 31
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.35 32
University of California, Los Angeles 0.34 33
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.33 34
Stanford University 0.33 34
University of Connecticut 0.31 36
University of British Columbia 0.3 37
University of Washington 0.3 37
University of Southern California 0.3 37
University of Alberta 0.29 40
University of Toronto 0.29 41
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.29 42
University of California, Davis 0.29 43
University of Notre Dame 0.28 44
Georgetown University 0.27 45
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.27 46
University of Western Ontario 0.25 47
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.25 48
University of Iowa 0.24 49
Purdue University 0.24 50
Washington University, St. Louis 0.23 51
University of Utah 0.21 52
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.21 52
Florida State University 0.17 54
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.13 55

The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into Tenure-Track/Permanent positions since 2011 are: Johns Hopkins University (70%), Yale University (67%), and MIT (62%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Johns Hopkins University 0.7 1
Yale University 0.67 2
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.62 3
New York University 0.55 4
Stanford University 0.55 4
University of California, Berkeley 0.5 6
Vanderbilt University 0.5 6
University of Texas, Austin 0.48 8
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.47 9
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.46 10
Columbia University 0.44 11
Harvard University 0.44 11
University of Miami 0.44 11
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.42 14
University of Iowa 0.4 15
Cornell University 0.4 15
University of Arizona 0.39 17
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.35 18
University of Southern California 0.35 19
University of Chicago 0.33 20
Northwestern University 0.33 20
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.33 20
Princeton University 0.31 23
University of California, Los Angeles 0.28 24
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.27 25
University of California, San Diego 0.25 26
University of California, Davis 0.25 26
University of Pennsylvania 0.25 26
Duke University 0.25 26
University of California, Irvine 0.22 30
University of Virginia 0.21 31
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 32
Carnegie Mellon University 0.2 32
Boston University 0.19 34
University of Connecticut 0.14 35
University of Notre Dame 0.13 36
Rice University 0.13 37
Georgetown University 0.13 37
University of British Columbia 0.11 39
Florida State University 0.11 39
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.11 39
University of Toronto 0.07 42

2. Post-Doc/Researcher Initial Placements

Which schools initially place the most students into Post-Doc/Researcher positions?  The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into Post-Doc/Researcher positions since 2000 are: Carnegie Mellon University (36%), the University of Western Ontario (29%), and the University of Notre Dame (28%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Carnegie Mellon University 0.36 1
University of Western Ontario 0.29 2
University of Notre Dame 0.28 3
University of British Columbia 0.25 4
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.25 4
Yale University 0.24 6
Stanford University 0.24 7
Harvard University 0.23 8
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.22 9
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.21 10
Washington University, St. Louis 0.2 11
University of Toronto 0.2 11
University of Virginia 0.2 11
University of Connecticut 0.19 14
Cornell University 0.18 15
University of California, Los Angeles 0.17 16
Princeton University 0.17 17
University of California, San Diego 0.16 18
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.15 19
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.15 19
Columbia University 0.15 21
University of Pennsylvania 0.14 22
University of Alberta 0.13 23
Boston University 0.13 24
University of California, Riverside 0.13 25
University of Texas, Austin 0.13 25
University of Chicago 0.12 27
University of Arizona 0.11 28
University of Pittsburgh 0.11 28
Georgetown University 0.11 30
University of California, Davis 0.11 31
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.1 32
University of Southern California 0.1 32
University of Washington 0.1 32
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.09 35
Duke University 0.08 36
University of Maryland, College Park 0.08 37
Syracuse University 0.07 38
University of California, Berkeley 0.07 39
Purdue University 0.07 40
Rice University 0.07 41
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.06 42
New York University 0.05 43
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.05 44
Vanderbilt University 0.05 45
Northwestern University 0.05 45
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.03 47
University of Utah 0.03 47
University of Iowa 0.03 49

 

The top four schools with the most overall initial placements into Post-Doc/Researcher positions since 2011 are: Carnegie Mellon University (60%), Georgetown University (50%), the University of California, San Diego (50%),  and the University of Western Ontario (50%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Carnegie Mellon University 0.6 1
Georgetown University 0.5 2
University of California, San Diego 0.5 2
University of Western Ontario 0.5 2
Harvard University 0.44 5
University of British Columbia 0.44 5
University of Virginia 0.43 7
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.4 8
University of Toronto 0.37 9
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.33 10
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.33 10
Washington University, St. Louis 0.33 10
Yale University 0.33 10
University of Notre Dame 0.32 14
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.31 15
University of California, Riverside 0.29 16
Princeton University 0.28 17
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.27 18
University of Pennsylvania 0.25 19
Rice University 0.25 19
Purdue University 0.23 21
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.23 21
University of Arizona 0.22 23
University of Texas, Austin 0.22 24
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.21 25
University of Chicago 0.2 26
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 26
Cornell University 0.2 26
Boston University 0.19 29
University of Southern California 0.18 30
University of California, Los Angeles 0.17 31
Columbia University 0.17 31
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.14 33
University of California, Davis 0.13 34
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.1 35
New York University 0.09 36
Stanford University 0.09 36
University of California, Berkeley 0.08 38
University of Utah 0.08 38

 

3. Lecturer/Temporary Initial Placements

Which schools initially place the most students into Lecturer/Temporary positions?  The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into Lecturer/Temporary positions since 2000 are: Ohio State University (100%), Florida State University (65%), and Purdue University (64%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Ohio State University 1 1
Florida State University 0.66 2
Purdue University 0.64 3
University of Iowa 0.64 4
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.61 5
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.57 6
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.57 7
University of Miami 0.56 8
University of Utah 0.55 9
University of California, Irvine 0.55 10
Georgetown University 0.54 11
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.52 12
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.51 13
Boston University 0.51 14
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.47 15
Washington University, St. Louis 0.43 16
Northwestern University 0.43 17
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.42 18
University of California, Riverside 0.42 19
University of British Columbia 0.4 20
University of California, Davis 0.39 21
University of Alberta 0.39 22
University of Pennsylvania 0.37 23
University of California, Los Angeles 0.36 24
University of Maryland, College Park 0.35 25
University of Washington 0.35 26
University of California, San Diego 0.35 27
University of Chicago 0.35 28
University of Connecticut 0.35 29
University of Western Ontario 0.35 30
University of Notre Dame 0.33 31
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.33 32
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.32 33
Cornell University 0.31 34
University of Pittsburgh 0.3 35
University of Texas, Austin 0.3 36
University of Virginia 0.3 36
Stanford University 0.29 38
Columbia University 0.29 39
Princeton University 0.29 40
University of Southern California 0.28 41
Vanderbilt University 0.27 42
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.26 43
Syracuse University 0.26 44
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.2 45
University of Toronto 0.19 46
New York University 0.18 47
Rice University 0.17 48
Duke University 0.17 48
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.14 50
Yale University 0.12 51
University of California, Berkeley 0.11 52
University of Arizona 0.11 53
Johns Hopkins University 0.11 54
Harvard University 0.08 55
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.03 56

 

The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into Lecturer/Temporary positions since 2011 are: Ohio State University (100%), Syracuse University (100%), and Florida State University (89%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Ohio State University 1 1
Syracuse University 1 1
Florida State University 0.89 3
University of California, Irvine 0.78 4
Duke University 0.75 5
University of Utah 0.75 5
University of California, Riverside 0.71 7
Purdue University 0.69 8
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.67 9
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.67 9
University of Maryland, College Park 0.67 9
Washington University, St. Louis 0.67 9
Boston University 0.63 13
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.6 14
Northwestern University 0.58 15
University of Connecticut 0.57 16
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.56 17
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.55 18
University of Pennsylvania 0.5 19
University of California, Davis 0.5 19
University of Miami 0.44 21
University of British Columbia 0.44 21
University of Toronto 0.41 23
University of Pittsburgh 0.4 24
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.4 24
University of Chicago 0.4 24
University of Iowa 0.4 24
Cornell University 0.4 24
Columbia University 0.39 29
University of California, Los Angeles 0.39 29
Princeton University 0.38 31
Rice University 0.38 32
Stanford University 0.36 33
New York University 0.36 33
University of Virginia 0.36 35
University of Western Ontario 0.36 35
University of Notre Dame 0.35 37
Vanderbilt University 0.33 38
University of Alberta 0.33 38
Johns Hopkins University 0.3 40
University of Texas, Austin 0.26 41
Georgetown University 0.25 42
University of California, San Diego 0.25 42
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.25 42
University of Southern California 0.24 45
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.23 46
University of Arizona 0.22 47
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.2 48
University of California, Berkeley 0.17 49
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.16 50
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.15 51
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.14 52
Harvard University 0.11 53

 

4. Not In Academic Philosophy

Which schools initially place the most students into positions outside of academic philosophy?  The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into positions outside of academic philosophy since 2000 are: the University of Southern California (30%), University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (27%), and the University of Washington (25%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Southern California 0.3 1
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.27 2
University of Washington 0.25 3
University of California, Davis 0.21 4
Johns Hopkins University 0.19 5
University of Maryland, College Park 0.19 6
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.19 7
Florida State University 0.17 8
Rice University 0.17 9
University of Alberta 0.16 10
University of Toronto 0.16 11
Syracuse University 0.15 12
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.15 13
Carnegie Mellon University 0.14 14
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.14 15
University of Rochester 0.14 16
Vanderbilt University 0.14 17
Washington University, St. Louis 0.13 18
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.13 19
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.13 20
University of California, Los Angeles 0.13 21
University of Pennsylvania 0.12 22
University of California, San Diego 0.12 23
University of California, Berkeley 0.11 24
Duke University 0.08 25
Georgetown University 0.08 26
Stanford University 0.08 27
University of Connecticut 0.08 28
University of Miami 0.07 29
University of Utah 0.07 30
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.07 31
University of Pittsburgh 0.07 32
University of Chicago 0.06 33
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.06 34
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.06 35
University of Western Ontario 0.05 36
New York University 0.05 37
Cornell University 0.05 38
Purdue University 0.05 39
University of British Columbia 0.05 40
University of Texas, Austin 0.05 40
Princeton University 0.05 42
Northwestern University 0.05 43
University of California, Irvine 0.05 43
University of Arizona 0.04 45
University of California, Riverside 0.04 46
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.03 47
University of Notre Dame 0.03 47
Yale University 0.03 49
University of Iowa 0.03 49
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.03 51
University of Virginia 0.03 52

The top three schools with the most overall initial placements into positions outside of academic philosophy since 2011 are: the University of Alberta (67%), the University of Colorado, Boulder (33%), and Rice University (25%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Alberta 0.67 1
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.33 2
Rice University 0.25 3
Carnegie Mellon University 0.2 4
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.2 4
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 4
University of Southern California 0.18 7
University of Rochester 0.17 8
Vanderbilt University 0.17 8
University of Maryland, College Park 0.17 8
University of California, Berkeley 0.17 8
University of California, Los Angeles 0.17 8
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.16 13
University of Toronto 0.15 14
University of Connecticut 0.14 15
University of California, Davis 0.13 16
Georgetown University 0.13 16
University of Miami 0.11 18
Northwestern University 0.08 19
Purdue University 0.08 20
University of Chicago 0.07 21
University of Notre Dame 0.06 22
University of Arizona 0.06 23
University of Texas, Austin 0.04 24
Princeton University 0.03 25

 

Current Placement Type:

Since 2000, approximately 46% of philosophy graduates are currently in Tenure Track or permanent positions.  Approximately 8% of graduates have received Tenure.  So overall, approximately 54% of philosophy graduates are currently in permanent positions in academic philosophy. That is just over half of all graduates.  Temporary positions are held by 27% of graduates and post-docs and research positions are held by 8% of graduates.  Thus, at least 89% of graduates are currently in academic philosophy.

 

 

1. Tenure-Track/Permanent/Tenured Current Placements

Which schools currently have the most students in Tenure-Track/Permanent/Tenured positions?  The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Tenure-Track/Permanent/Tenured positions since 2000 are: Yale University (91%), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (86%), and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (77%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Yale University 0.91 1
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.86 2
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.77 3
New York University 0.76 4
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.76 5
Harvard University 0.75 6
University of California, Berkeley 0.73 7
University of Rochester 0.72 8
Northwestern University 0.7 9
Johns Hopkins University 0.7 10
Princeton University 0.7 11
University of Pittsburgh 0.7 12
University of Arizona 0.67 13
University of California, Riverside 0.67 14
Duke University 0.67 14
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.65 16
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.65 17
Carnegie Mellon University 0.64 18
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.64 19
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.63 20
University of California, Los Angeles 0.62 21
University of Chicago 0.61 22
Rice University 0.6 23
Vanderbilt University 0.59 24
Cornell University 0.59 25
Columbia University 0.58 26
Brown University 0.58 27
University of Toronto 0.58 27
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.56 29
Stanford University 0.55 30
University of Texas, Austin 0.54 31
University of Pennsylvania 0.53 32
Syracuse University 0.52 33
University of Notre Dame 0.52 34
Washington University, St. Louis 0.5 35
University of Washington 0.5 35
Ohio State University 0.5 35
University of Iowa 0.48 38
University of Maryland, College Park 0.46 39
Georgetown University 0.46 39
Purdue University 0.46 41
University of California, Irvine 0.45 42
University of Alberta 0.45 43
University of California, San Diego 0.44 44
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.42 45
University of Virginia 0.4 46
University of Connecticut 0.38 47
University of Western Ontario 0.38 48
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.38 49
University of Miami 0.37 50
Boston University 0.36 51
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.36 52
University of British Columbia 0.3 53
University of Southern California 0.3 53
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.3 55
University of California, Davis 0.29 56
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.28 57
University of Utah 0.21 58
Florida State University 0.17 59
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.13 60

 

The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Tenure-Track/Permanent/Tenured positions since 2011 are: Yale University (89%), MIT (77%), and Johns Hopkins University (70%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Yale University 0.89 1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.77 2
Johns Hopkins University 0.7 3
University of California, Berkeley 0.67 4
Vanderbilt University 0.67 4
Princeton University 0.59 6
New York University 0.55 7
Stanford University 0.55 7
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.54 9
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.53 10
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.53 11
University of Pennsylvania 0.5 12
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.5 12
University of Rochester 0.5 12
University of California, Los Angeles 0.5 12
University of California, San Diego 0.5 12
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.5 12
Columbia University 0.5 12
Cornell University 0.5 12
University of Texas, Austin 0.48 20
University of Chicago 0.47 21
University of Miami 0.44 22
University of California, Riverside 0.43 23
Northwestern University 0.42 24
University of Southern California 0.41 25
University of Iowa 0.4 26
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.4 26
University of Arizona 0.39 28
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.35 29
University of Notre Dame 0.35 29
Washington University, St. Louis 0.33 31
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.33 31
Harvard University 0.33 31
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.33 31
Ohio State University 0.29 35
University of Virginia 0.29 35
Duke University 0.25 37
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.25 37
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.25 37
University of California, Davis 0.25 37
University of California, Irvine 0.22 41
Carnegie Mellon University 0.2 42
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 42
Boston University 0.19 44
University of Connecticut 0.14 45
Rice University 0.13 46
Georgetown University 0.13 46
Florida State University 0.11 48
University of British Columbia 0.11 48
University of Toronto 0.11 48
Purdue University 0.08 51
University of Western Ontario 0.07 52

 

2. Post-Doc/Researcher Current Placements

Which schools currently have the most students in Post-Doc/Researcher positions?  The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Post-Doc/Researcher positions since 2000 are: University of British Columbia (25%), the University of Virginia (20%), and the University of Notre Dame (19%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of British Columbia 0.25 1
University of Virginia 0.2 2
University of Notre Dame 0.19 3
Stanford University 0.16 4
Columbia University 0.15 5
University of Chicago 0.14 6
Georgetown University 0.14 7
Boston University 0.13 8
University of Western Ontario 0.13 9
University of Toronto 0.13 10
University of Texas, Austin 0.13 11
Harvard University 0.13 11
University of Connecticut 0.12 13
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.12 13
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.11 15
University of Arizona 0.11 15
University of California, Davis 0.11 17
University of California, Los Angeles 0.11 18
University of Pennsylvania 0.1 19
Washington University, St. Louis 0.1 20
Brown University 0.09 21
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.09 22
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.09 22
Princeton University 0.09 24
Duke University 0.08 25
Syracuse University 0.07 26
University of California, San Diego 0.07 27
Rice University 0.07 28
University of Pittsburgh 0.07 29
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.06 30
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.06 31
New York University 0.05 32
Cornell University 0.05 33
Purdue University 0.05 34
University of Southern California 0.05 35
University of California, Berkeley 0.05 36
Vanderbilt University 0.05 36
University of California, Riverside 0.04 38
University of Miami 0.04 39
University of Utah 0.03 40
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.03 41
University of Alberta 0.03 42
University of Iowa 0.03 43
Yale University 0.03 43
University of Maryland, College Park 0.03 45
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.03 46
Northwestern University 0.02 47
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.02 48

 

The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Post-Doc/Researcher positions since 2011 are: Harvard University (56%), Brown University (50%), and Georgetown University (50%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Harvard University 0.56 1
Brown University 0.5 2
Georgetown University 0.5 2
University of Toronto 0.48 4
University of British Columbia 0.44 5
University of Virginia 0.43 6
University of Western Ontario 0.36 7
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.33 8
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.33 8
Washington University, St. Louis 0.33 8
University of Chicago 0.27 11
University of Notre Dame 0.26 12
University of Pennsylvania 0.25 13
University of California, San Diego 0.25 13
Rice University 0.25 13
Princeton University 0.24 16
Purdue University 0.23 17
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.23 17
University of Arizona 0.22 19
University of California, Los Angeles 0.22 19
University of Texas, Austin 0.22 21
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 22
Boston University 0.19 23
Columbia University 0.17 24
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.15 25
University of California, Riverside 0.14 26
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.13 27
University of California, Davis 0.13 28
University of Southern California 0.12 29
University of Miami 0.11 30
Yale University 0.11 30
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.11 32
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.1 33
Stanford University 0.09 34
New York University 0.09 34
University of California, Berkeley 0.08 36
University of Utah 0.08 36

 

3. Lecturer/Temporary Current Placements

Which schools currently have the most students in Lecturer/Temporary positions?  The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Lecturer/Temporary positions since 2000 are: Florida State University (66%),  the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (61%), and the University of Utah (55%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Florida State University 0.66 1
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.61 2
University of Utah 0.55 3
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.55 4
University of Miami 0.52 5
Boston University 0.51 6
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.51 7
University of California, Irvine 0.5 8
Purdue University 0.44 9
Ohio State University 0.43 10
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.42 11
University of British Columbia 0.4 12
University of Iowa 0.39 13
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.35 14
University of Virginia 0.35 15
University of Connecticut 0.35 16
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.33 17
University of Southern California 0.33 18
University of Maryland, College Park 0.32 19
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.32 20
University of Washington 0.3 21
University of Western Ontario 0.29 22
University of Texas, Austin 0.29 23
University of Pennsylvania 0.29 24
University of California, San Diego 0.28 25
Columbia University 0.27 26
Georgetown University 0.27 27
University of Alberta 0.26 28
University of California, Riverside 0.25 29
Cornell University 0.23 30
Vanderbilt University 0.23 31
University of Notre Dame 0.22 32
Syracuse University 0.22 33
University of California, Davis 0.21 34
Stanford University 0.2 35
Brown University 0.18 36
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.17 37
University of California, Los Angeles 0.17 38
Duke University 0.17 39
Rice University 0.17 39
Washington University, St. Louis 0.17 39
University of Chicago 0.16 42
Northwestern University 0.16 43
University of Pittsburgh 0.15 44
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.14 45
Princeton University 0.14 46
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.13 47
New York University 0.13 48
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.13 49
University of Toronto 0.13 50
University of Arizona 0.11 51
Johns Hopkins University 0.11 52
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.1 53
University of California, Berkeley 0.09 54
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.09 55
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.08 56
Harvard University 0.08 57
University of Rochester 0.07 58
Yale University 0.03 59

 

 The top three schools with the most overall current placements in Lecturer/Temporary positions since 2011 are: Syracuse University (100%), Florida State University (88%), and University of California, Irvine (78%).

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
Syracuse University 1 1
Florida State University 0.89 2
University of California, Irvine 0.78 3
Duke University 0.75 4
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.75 4
University of Utah 0.75 4
Ohio State University 0.71 7
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.67 8
University of Maryland, College Park 0.67 8
Boston University 0.63 10
Purdue University 0.62 11
University of Missouri, Columbia 0.6 12
University of Connecticut 0.57 13
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.55 14
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.5 15
Northwestern University 0.5 15
University of British Columbia 0.44 17
University of California, Riverside 0.43 18
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.42 19
Cornell University 0.4 20
University of Iowa 0.4 20
University of Pittsburgh 0.4 20
Rice University 0.38 23
New York University 0.36 24
Stanford University 0.36 24
University of Western Ontario 0.36 26
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.33 27
University of Miami 0.33 27
University of Alberta 0.33 27
Columbia University 0.33 27
Johns Hopkins University 0.3 31
University of Notre Dame 0.29 32
University of Virginia 0.29 33
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.29 33
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.27 35
University of Texas, Austin 0.26 36
University of Toronto 0.26 37
University of Pennsylvania 0.25 38
Brown University 0.25 38
Georgetown University 0.25 38
University of California, San Diego 0.25 38
University of Southern California 0.24 42
Rutgers University, New Brunswick 0.23 43
University of Arizona 0.22 44
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.21 45
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.2 46
University of Chicago 0.2 46
University of California, Los Angeles 0.17 48
Vanderbilt University 0.17 48
Washington University, St. Louis 0.17 48
Princeton University 0.14 51
University of California, Davis 0.13 52
Harvard University 0.11 53
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.08 54
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.08 55

 

 

4. Not In Academic Philosophy

Which schools currently have the most graduates not in academic philosophy?  The top three schools with the most overall current graduates not in academic philosophy positions since 2000 are: the University of California, Davis (39%), the University of Southern California (33%), and the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (27%).  Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of California, Davis 0.39 1
University of Southern California 0.33 2
University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign 0.27 3
Washington University, St. Louis 0.23 4
University of Alberta 0.23 5
Carnegie Mellon University 0.21 6
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.2 7
University of Washington 0.2 7
Johns Hopkins University 0.19 9
University of California, San Diego 0.19 10
Florida State University 0.17 11
Rice University 0.17 12
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.17 12
University of Maryland, College Park 0.16 14
University of Toronto 0.16 15
Brown University 0.16 15
Syracuse University 0.15 17
University of Western Ontario 0.15 18
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St. Paul 0.14 19
University of Rochester 0.14 20
Vanderbilt University 0.14 21
Georgetown University 0.14 22
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 0.13 23
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.13 24
Cornell University 0.13 25
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.12 26
Northwestern University 0.11 27
University of California, Berkeley 0.11 27
University of California, Los Angeles 0.11 29
Stanford University 0.1 30
Duke University 0.08 31
University of Pennsylvania 0.08 32
Princeton University 0.08 33
University of Connecticut 0.08 34
University of Miami 0.07 35
University of Utah 0.07 36
Ohio State University 0.07 37
University of Pittsburgh 0.07 38
University of Chicago 0.06 39
University of Massachusetts, Amherst 0.06 40
New York University 0.05 41
University of Notre Dame 0.05 42
Purdue University 0.05 43
Harvard University 0.05 44
University of British Columbia 0.05 44
University of Texas, Austin 0.05 44
University of Virginia 0.05 44
University of California, Irvine 0.05 48
University of Arizona 0.04 49
University of California, Riverside 0.04 50
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.04 51
Indiana University, Bloomington 0.04 52
City University of New York Graduate Center 0.03 53
University of Iowa 0.03 54
Yale University 0.03 54
University of Illinois, Chicago 0.03 56

 

The top three schools with the most overall current graduates not in academic philosophy positions since 2011 are: the University of Alberta (67%), the University of California, Davis (50%), and Carnegie Mellon University (40%). Here are the full results:

PhDSchool Ratio RankScore
University of Alberta 0.67 1
University of California, Davis 0.5 2
Carnegie Mellon University 0.4 3
University of Colorado, Boulder 0.33 4
Rice University 0.25 5
Brown University 0.25 5
University of Southern California 0.24 7
University Of Nebraska, Lincoln 0.2 8
University of Pittsburgh 0.2 8
University of Rochester 0.17 10
Vanderbilt University 0.17 10
Washington University, St. Louis 0.17 10
University of California, Berkeley 0.17 10
University of Maryland, College Park 0.17 10
University of Wisconsin, Madison 0.16 15
University of Toronto 0.15 16
University of Connecticut 0.14 17
Georgetown University 0.13 18
University of Miami 0.11 19
University of California, Los Angeles 0.11 19
Cornell University 0.1 21
Northwestern University 0.08 22
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 0.08 22
Purdue University 0.08 24
University of Western Ontario 0.07 25
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0.07 26
University of Chicago 0.07 26
University of Notre Dame 0.06 28
University of Arizona 0.06 29
University of Texas, Austin 0.04 30
Princeton University 0.03 31

 

What percentage of graduates are still at the same institution they were initially placed at?  Some percentages are below:

Graduated from 2000-2005: 63% of all graduates are still at the same institution

Graduated from 2000-2010: 66% of all graduates are still at the same institution

Graduated from 2000-2013: 69% of all graduates are still at the same institution

Filling this out for every year from 2000 through 2013 gives us the following curve (in blue) with a trend line (in red).  The lowest point (only looking at graduates from 2000), shows that only 57% of these graduates are still at the same institution they were initially placed at.

image

What about going year by year?  Here are some more percentages:

Graduated in 2013: 89% of these graduates are still at the same institution

Graduated in 2010: 69% of these graduates are still at the same institution

Graduated in 2005: 69% of these graduates are still at the same institution

Graduated in 2000: 57% of these graduates are still at the same institution

Filling this out for every year from 2000 through 2013 shows that there there is a large drop off in the first two years.  This is, as I imagine, because graduates that had post-docs or temporary positions as lecturers found more permanent positions.  If we remove these first two years, then the curve looks like this:

image 

If this is a linear decay (a big if), then the percentage points decrease by 0.74 each year.  This means that on average, over a 40 year career, over 40% of one’s graduating class will still be at the same institution it started at. 

If we only consider those graduates that initially received a tenure-track/permanent position, the numbers change dramatically.  After 13 years, 72% of one’s graduating class that received tenure-track/permanent positions initially is still at the same institution.  The percentage points decrease by about 1.6 each year (using a linear model), meaning that on average, over a 40 year career, over 34% of one’s graduating class that initially received tenure-track/permanent positions will still be at the same institution it started at.  As I suspect these are NOT linear curves, the percentages will actually be higher than those given.

 image

Bottom line?  Supposing these trends continue, over 1/3 of all graduates will stay at the institution they are initially placed at for the duration of their career.

 

Primary Area of Study:

Since 2000, the most popular primary area of study for philosophy graduates has been ethics (13% of all graduates), followed by metaphysics (12%) and epistemology (10%) (Note: 30% of students had an "Unknown" primary area of study).

 

 

If we group these further into similar categories (following The Leiter Report's delineation of areas of specialty), we find that Metaphysics and Epistemology categories comprise 33% of primary areas of study, Value related categories 22%, Science and Math related categories 8%, and History categories 7% (Note: 30% of students has an "Unknown" primary area of study).

 

Has this distribution changed over time?  It is difficult to say with this first graph of all of the categories separated out.  Ethics has gained a little bit of ground over the years, but it looks like it is declining again.  Metaphysics is also increasing overall, but is fairly erratic throughout.

With the graph below, things are a bit easier to see once all of the categories have been similarly grouped.  It looks as though value categories are in general increasing, Metaphysics/Epistemology is increasing, Science and Math categories are holding steady, and History categories are holding steady.  However, none of these trends is overwhelming.

 

The Match: Placement Records and The Leiter Report

I have decided to devote an entire webpage to any comments/analysis regarding the Leiter Report.  I do this for two reasons:  First, I need more space to make fuller comments and analysis on the complex data involved.  Second, I don't want any criticisms of this section to take away from other less controversial analyses on this page.  Please see here for the analysis.

Moving Forward: What Next?

Placement records are important, and increasingly so as the job market in academic philosophy becomes more and more competitive and students become more concerned about getting a job after they graduate.  Schools can offer better guidance to prospective students by keeping their placement records neat, complete, and organized in an easily readable, understandable, and flexible format (see here for my recommendations).  If schools do this, then students can quickly and painlessly compare how different schools rank in their placement, further helping them to make the right decision for themselves as they consider a career in academic philosophy.  This article is but a first attempt in moving in this direction, and I hope that it won't be the last.

Two final thoughts.  First, if you believe I have grossly misrepresented your school and would like me to correct it, please send me a .csv file, using the same columns and meanings that I have given here and here, with all of the corrected information. I will update this article as often as necessary to keep the data current, correct, and fair. Second, if you know any students in or currently considering graduate school in philosophy, please send them a link to this article.  I know I would have benefited greatly from an article like this when I was weighing my decision to continue pursuing academic philosophy, and I am sure they will too.

Andy Carson
swoosh_64x52Philosophy News

The Meaning of Life

What is the meaning of life? Take a quick survey and let us know what you think.

 

What is the Meaning of Life? What is our primary purpose in life? (select the answer closest to your view)




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Newcomb's Paradox

"There are two boxes in front of you. One, a transparent box, has $10,000 in it that you can see, and the other, an opaque box, has either $0 or $1,000,000 in it. You can choose to take both boxes or you can choose to take only the opaque box..."

"There are two boxes in front of you.  One, a transparent box, has $10,000 in it that you can see, and the other, an opaque box, has either $0 or $1,000,000 in it.  You can choose to take both boxes or you can choose to take only the opaque box.  However, a very successful Predictor has made a prediction as to whether you will take the opaque box only (one-box) or both boxes (two-box).  In accordance with its prediction, it has placed $0 in the opaque box if it has predicted that you will two-box, or it has placed $1,000,000 in the opaque box if it has predicted that you will one-box.  You know all of this information.  Do you one-box or two-box, that is, do you take the opaque box only, or do you take both boxes?" 

When faced with the situation presented in Newcomb's paradox, do you choose one box or two boxes (Note: If you have studied this paradox before, what was your unstudied and first answer to this paradox)?


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And if you haven't already done so, please take our philosophical profile survey here.

Thanks!

 

 

Philosophy News Survey: One Week Results

A week 1 summary of our philosophical survey results. If you haven't taken the survey yet, please take a few minutes and fill it out. We'd appreciate hearing from you!

Thank you to everyone who has taken our survey.

If you haven't taken our survey, we’d love to have you participate!  Here is an initial analysis of the information you’ve provided and a preview of things to come. Check back often as we’ll be updating you on the results of the survey so you can see how closely you align to other readers of Philosophy News.

Half of our survey takers so far have completed the entire survey! Thank you!  As you can see in the graph below, completion drops off significantly after the first section (1/8) and continues to diminish as the survey continues towards the end (8/8).

 

I did a little correlation analysis of the data and discovered that the most highly correlated statistic we have collected so far with completion rates is the primary area of philosophical interest (see the chart below; blue indicates completion of the entire survey). All of the sub-disciplines except for science have less than 50% completion rates while those who are most interested in science have a completion rate of greater than 50%.  Are those who are most interested in science more appreciative of the value of surveys and hence more willing to complete them? Perhaps, but I hope the other sub-disciplines will soon prove this to be wrong... Wink In any case, if you have not completed your survey (all of sections 1 through 8) please do so.  We'd really appreciate it.  And it won't take too long.  We promise.

 

 

Finally, what features most characterize our survey takers?  Who are you?  I took the answer to any question that was chosen more than 50% of the time and have posted the results below.  Roughly (and most interestingly), the majority of our survey takers are:

  • males
  • fine with eating meat (but don't abuse animals)
  • not in school
  • atheists
  • deontological with respect to normative ethics
  • take a constructive empiricist approach to science yet believe in direct realism when it comes to perception (perhaps there is a contradiction here, or at least a tension)
  • believe abortion is always morally permissible.

 

 

Do these results reflect your beliefs?  Please take or finish our survey to let us know what you think of these matters.

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-Philosophy News