Your First Year in a Ph.D. Program


December 18, 2013

Usually we write about the end stages of the doctoral-student career as soon-to-be Ph.D.’s prepare for the job market. But this month we’d like to step back and offer advice to those just starting out in graduate school.

We believe early career planning is especially important in the current climate surrounding doctoral education. From all sides, Ph.D. students hear that their fields are in jeopardy, that research and teaching positions are shrinking, and that the doctoral path is one taken only by the rich or the financially foolish. That refrain is especially heard in the humanities, as typified by Jordan Weissmann’s recent blog post for The Atlantic, but he has also written about the lack of jobs and the decline of research opportunities for scientists. Others have aired similar concerns about fields such as computer science, particle physics, and the biomedical sciences. The challenges faced by Ph.D.’s seeking work outside of academe even made The New York Times recently in an article entitled “The Repurposed Ph.D.”

Continue reading the discussion in The Chronicle of Higher Educationphoto by Brian Taylor

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