In this article, we analyse findings of the largest, most comprehensive survey of the career paths of social science PhD graduates to date, Social Science PhDs - Five+Years Out (SS5). SS5 surveyed more than 3,000 graduates of U.S. PhD programmes in six social science fields six to ten years after earning their PhD. The survey collected data on family, career and graduate school experiences. Like previous studies in Australia, the U.K., the U.S.A. and Germany, SS5 found that graduates several years after completing their education had mostly positive labour market experiences, but only after undergoing a transitional period of insecurity and uncertainty. Most SS5 doctoral students wanted to become professors, despite the difficult academic job market and the existence of a non-academic market for PhD labour. Many respondents' career pathways included a delayed move into a faculty tenure-track position, but exceptionally few moved from a faculty tenure-track position into another labour market sector. Respondents reported that their PhD programmes had not trained them well in several skills important for academic and non-academic jobs. Men's and women's career paths were remarkably similar, but, we argue, women 'subsidised' gender equality in careers by paying higher personal costs than men. We conclude with recommendations.
Emory Morrison, Elizabeth Rudd, and Maresi Nerad
George A. Martinez, Maresi Nerad, and Elizabeth Rudd
This workshop report summarises the potentially far-reaching deliberations and results of a conference of experts in doctoral education from around the world. The conference was organised jointly by the U.S. Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) at the University of Washington, Seattle and the German International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) at the University of Kassel. Participants discussed critical issues in the globalisation of doctoral education, including global inequalities, diversity in types of students and modes of study, and intellectual risk-taking, and they sought to develop proposals for policy. The focus of the conference was on the research doctorate. This essay reports on the activities, discussions, and conclusions of the workshop. One of the task forces illustrated issues in the intellectual risk-taking faced by graduates by performing a highly realistic vignette written by a South African professor. We begin our workshop report with this vignette as a way to begin to frame the key issues.