This is why I am keeping my PhD studies oriented toward these targets: (1) becoming a coffee consultant, (2) setting up a practice as a philosophical counselor, and (3) looking for a job in the academy. Why do folks sign up for a PhD program outside the top 20 of their respective discipline and NOT have two post-Doc targets in mind other than becoming an academic?
It only makes sense when you take into account what can be seen with the naked eye: elite schools get most of the job offers. But also, such tenured positions are shrinking and those that are still around appear to be held by a generation most not set on retiring before the age of 75 or 80.
This is the Society of Control folks… learn to slip and slide in the network. Control your control.
The United States prides itself on offering broad access to higher education, and thanks to merit-based admissions, ample financial aid, and emphasis on diverse student bodies, our country can claim some success in realizing this ideal.
The situation for aspiring professors is far grimmer. Aaron Clauset, a co-author of this article, is the lead author of a new study published in Science Advances that scrutinized more than 16,000 faculty members in the fields of business, computer science, and history at 242 schools. He and his colleagues found, as the paper puts it, a “steeply hierarchical structure that reflects profound social inequality.” The data revealed that just a quarter of all universities account for 71 to 86 percent of all tenure-track faculty in the U.S. and Canada in these three fields. Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors.
While elite universities, with their deep resources and demanding coursework, surely produce great professors, the data suggest that faculty hiring isn’t a simple meritocracy. The top schools generate far more professors than even just slightly less prestigious schools. For example, in history, the top 10 schools produce three times as many future professors as those ranked 11 through 20.