With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

More Jobs, Fewer New Ph.D.’s

Arnita A. Jones almost gushed when she told historians about how many new Ph.D.’s she was chatting up at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in Atlanta who were telling her, “I have four interviews tomorrow,” or “I’ve got three interviews today.”

Just a few years ago, one didn’t hear so many positive reports from job seekers. But if the mood was generally upbeat about the job market, there was also a clear realization that historians don’t have it easy when it comes to finding a job. Jones immediately followed her statement by imploring graduate programs not to increase their enrollments. It’s better to have a glut of positions than a glut of historians, she said.

And for all the talk about an improved job market, it’s clear that it’s not improved for everyone. There was new evidence at the meeting of a mismatch between the areas of expertise of new Ph.D.’s and the available jobs. And there was also new evidence and much discussion about the various tiers of the graduate education and job markets, in which some academics launch great careers and others face huge debts and limited prospects for tenure-track jobs....
Read entire article at Scott Jaschik at the website of Inside Higher Ed