Everyone, it seems, loves the idea of scholars interdisciplinary work. But does academe reward those — particular young scholars — who actually do it?
A new study, based on data from all people who earned Ph.D.s in 2010, suggests the opposite, reports InsideHigherEd
“In the year after earning their doctorates, those in the cohort who did interdisciplinary dissertations earned, on average, $1,700 less than those who completed dissertations in a single field. The study was conducted by Kevin M. Kniffin and Andrew S. Hanks, two postdoctoral fellows at Cornell University, and has been released by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.
“Kniffin and Hanks used data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, and focused on the more than 26,000 people who earned doctorates that year who are U.S. citizens. The income of new Ph.D.s, of course, varies by such factors as discipline, whether postdoctoral employment is within academe or outside it, and whether the first job after the Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellowship. Kniffin and Hanks came up with their $1,700 gap by controlling for discipline, age, gender and ethnicity. They reasoned that because some disciplines are more likely than others to produce new doctorates who seek employment outside academe, they could address various differences in post-graduation patterns of various new doctorate holders.
“The Survey of Earned Doctorates specifically asks if new Ph.D.s did a multidisciplinary dissertation, so that information was readily available for the study. Continue reading “Interdisciplinary losers”
A handful of top universities crank out most of the nations’ political science faculty … Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Michigan, to be precise.
Last year, a study in Georgetown Public Policy Review exposed the extent to which a relatively small number of graduate programs in political science dominate placement in Ph.D.-granting departments., reports InsideHigher Ed.
“The study looked at the 116 universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report for political science graduate programs, and examined where all of the tenure-track or tenured faculty members earned their doctorates. The top four institutions in the magazine’s rankings of departments — Harvard, Princeton and Stanford Universities and the University of Michigan — were the Ph.D. alma maters of 616 of the political scientists at the 116 universities (roughly 20 percent of the total). The top 11 institutions were collectively responsible for the doctoral education of about half of those in tenured or tenure-track positions at the 116 universities.
“On Saturday, the author of that study — Robert L. Oprisko of Butler University — presented expanded findings here at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The paper argues not only that some departments may have more historical dominance but that others may be on the rise right now (judging from the number of assistant professors they have placed). While Oprisko is critical of a system that seems to place so much emphasis on Ph.D. pedigree, he also argues that this information needs wider circulation to help would-be graduate students make informed choices. (Oprisko earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University, not one of the dominant institutions). The paper — also by Kirstie L. Dobbs of Loyola University Chicago and Joseph DiGrazia of Indiana University — may be found at the website of the Social Science Research Network. Continue reading “Who makes political scientists”
Ok, so the humanities and art draw from wealthier student cohorts. How will this shape what knowledge matters in the future?
Money has always given people better options, but for humanities and arts graduate students, money’s now necessary just to get acceptable ones, reports Inside Higher Ed. “Just now becoming noticeable, this “re-gilded ivory tower” looms over a landscape that everyone should consider.
“As one fellow graduate student recently observed, “You have to have a spouse nowadays; that’s how more and more people seem to be doing it.” As is well-known, the economic crash hastened the decline of tenure-track jobs and increased competition for them. Once standard, these stable jobs with adequate salary and benefits have become rarer, displaced by short-term, one- to two-year positions at best, and by piecemeal adjuncting at worst. In turn, entry-level qualifications also rose at some institutions to include a secondary research specialization, at least one article, and attention to pedagogy resulting in the creation of one or more substantive classes, ideally taught at outside institutions. Continue reading “Wealthy humanities & arts students”
The best part about writing a dissertation is finding clever ways to procrastinate. The following appears in a blog located (identified?) as R Is My Friend.”The motivation for this blog comes from one of the more creative ways I’ve found to keep myself from writing. I’ve posted about data mining in the past and this post follows up on those ideas using a topic that is relevant to anyone that has ever considered getting, or has successfully completed, their PhD.
“I think a major deterrent that keeps people away from graduate school is the requirement to write a dissertation or thesis. One often hears horror stories of the excessive page lengths that are expected. However, most don’t realize that dissertations are filled with lots of white space, e.g., pages are one-sided, lines are double-spaced, and the author can put any material they want in appendices. The actual written portion may only account for less than 50% of the page length. A single chapter may be 30-40 pages in length, whereas the same chapter published in the primary literature may only be 10 or so pages long in a journal. Regardless, students (myself included) tend to fixate on the ‘appropriate’ page length for a dissertation, as if it’s some sort of measure of how much work you’ve done to get your degree. Any professor will tell you that page length is not a good indicator of the quality of your work. Regardless, I feel that some general page length goal should be established prior to writing. This length could be a minimum to ensure you put forth enough effort, or an upper limit to ensure you aren’t too excessive on extraneous details. Continue reading “How long to make your dissertation”