Some interesting insights into the world of tenure track professorships (otherwise known as the pie in the sky for most Ph.D. candidates).
1. American Federation of Teacher’s 2009 publication American Academic: The State of the Higher Education Workforce 1997-2007
Highlight: The number of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members declined from approximately one-third of the instructional staff in 1997 to just over one-quarter in 2007.
2. Patricia Cohen, April 16 2010. New York Times article The Long-Haul Degree
Highlight: The average student receiving a Ph.D. today is 35 years old, $23,000 in debt and facing a historically bad job market. Adjunct jobs — with year-to-year contracts, no benefits and no security — may be the only option.
The tenure track, appears particularly challenging for women.
Highlight: women continue to “leak” from the academic pipeline, especially from the tenure track. Of women faculty nationally, 31% hold non-tenure-track positions, 26% are on the tenure track, and 43% have tenure
4. Mason et al 2010. Keeping Women in the Science Pipeline (outlines the trajectory of women in academia and makes recommendations on how women can be better accommodated)
Highlight: Our current inadequate family responsive benefits for America’s researchers makes no economic sense. In the world of federal grants individuals who drop out of science after years of training represent a huge economic loss and are detriment to our nation’s future excellence
Other resources and interesting reads: