In PLoS One, the Georgia Institute of Technology's Henry Sauermann and Michael Roach at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, present "an empirical basis for common concerns regarding labor market imbalances" of PhD scientists. In an effort to tackle a "lack [of] systematic evidence whether career preferences adjust over the course of the PhD training and to what extent advisors exacerbate imbalances by encouraging their students to pursue academic positions," among other things, Sauermann and Roach set out to analyze data gleaned from a survey of PhD students at tier-one institutions across the US. From this, the researchers found that "that the attractiveness of academic careers decreases significantly over the course of the PhD program, despite the fact that advisors strongly encourage academic careers over non-academic careers." Overall, the authors say that their data "provide an empirical basis for common concerns regarding labor market imbalances" as well as evidence that PhD applicants require additional assistance to "carefully weigh the costs and benefits of pursuing a PhD" and that PhD students need better job market advice from their academic advisers.
All About PhDs
May 07, 2012