Oh my. The job market was not good before 2008 (has it been "good" at any point since the recession of 1992-93?), but the most recent trends suggest things are getting worse. A much smaller hunk of folks are getting placed in tenure track positions--from 40 percent (which ain't great) down to 25ish percent.
This all raises some big questions:
- Have many (any?) departments reduced how many graduate students they admit?
- Have many (any?) departments engaged in serious efforts to train their graduate students for non-academic jobs?
- Have many (any?) departments engaged in serious efforts to place their graduate students for non-academic jobs?
- Have universities stopped creating new PhD programs in political science and adjacent programs?
NPSIA aims to produce policy-oriented folks for non-academic jobs BUT the history of the program seems to be that graduate students come here expecting to get placed in academic jobs. Not great. One reason I left my previous job is that I didn't want to be producing heaps of new Phds as the market for them crashes. Sure, damn near all of them got tenure track positions, but I saw the writing on the wall. I do have Phd students now--but fewer of them and I am very clear about their job prospects. Oh, and leaving McG means writing far fewer recommendation letters for students who want to ignore my advice about pursuing Phds.
Sure, folks can still succeed, but the odds have changed and our guild is not really adapting very well.