April 18, 2013
The ASA Department of Research has released its 2012-2013 analysis of salary trend data for the academic sociology profession and other social sciences. Among our findings: average annual faculty salary changes between Academic Year (AY) 2011/12 and AY 2012/13 show slow or no growth in salaries at public institutions, compared to private institutions.
FACULTY: What happened in the past academic year to salaries at your institution? Why?
March 15, 2013
The following table is taken from our latest research brief, Social Capital for Sociology Majors: Applied Activities and Peer Networks, which is based on our 2012 longitudinal study, Social Capital, Organizational Capital, and the Job Market for New Sociology Graduates.
This table summarizes the activities listed on six sociology departments’ websites that provided easily retrievable information on activities beyond the classroom. We share this information to provide a sense of the substance behind the survey response of sociology department chairs that their departments provide “a great deal” of emphasis on application and peer networks, and to provide other departments with examples of how they might organize their own websites if they wish to promote these types of activities. Please click on the table to view it at full size.
Sample of Sociology Departments’ Websites Promoting Career Information
February 20, 2013
A AAAS interview with economist Dr. Stephan points out that the biomedical sciences are overproducing PhDs for the research positions available inside and outside the academy and have been for some time. According to Dr. Stephan’s research, many biomedical science PhDs do not perform work for which they have been trained.
Considering that sociologists–although more than capable of interdisciplinary work–are not necessarily encouraged to perform such work (especially in light of the discipline’s concern with disciplinary identity), how will graduate education need to change to prepare students to seek out and perform interdisciplinary research?
What kind of interdisciplinary work are you being trained to do? Tell us whether you’re a PhD candidate or a postdoctoral position holder.
We thank L. Williams of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for contributing to this blog posting.
February 15, 2013
Are sociology PhDs seeking postdoctoral positions to become more competitive on the job market? What have been the effects on your career of different types of postdocs including sociology, interdisciplinary, research, teaching? Do you think that a postdoc is a necessary step in a PhD career trajectory?
View ASA’s latest data brief: Postdoctorates: Another Stage in the Sociology Pipeline?
Read and comment about this here at our blog site and view our latest data brief: Postdoctorates: Another Stage in the Sociology Pipeline?
January 31, 2013
Interested in a postdoctoral position? Watch for the ASA Research Department’s forthcoming analysis of the types of postdocs that are available to sociologists.
January 23, 2013
Contrary to what we all hear and say anecdotally, women and men academics in some disciplines advance to full professor at the same rate. Data from the American Historical Association’s (AHA) 2010 Career Paths survey indicate that academic historians reach full professor in the same amount of average time, regardless of gender (Townsend 2013). The differences, however, were found in the different pathways that lead women and men to the upper ranks of academia.
Townsend attempted to explain this discrepancy by not only looking at the total time it took to advance, but also the number of years between each rank, how marriage and/or family and childcare issues affected promotion, amount of time spent on professional activities, amount of productivity, and other factors. Townsend found that married male historians in this sample were promoted faster than women who were married. And although women survey respondents reported spending more time on child and other family care than men reported, the amount of time they each spent on professional activities was the same. Although there was no direct comparison of the mothers and fathers in this sample, mothers moved through the ranks faster than women who did not have children. Data from an ASA survey of the 1996/97 cohort of sociologists support this notion (Spalter-Roth and Van Vooren 2012).
Is this true across disciplines? A forthcoming study from ASA’s 2012 Time in Rank survey of full and associate professors in sociology will further explore this question, including whether there is a significant difference between the amount of time it takes men and women sociologists to advance to full professor. As we examine the data from the Time in Rank survey of sociologists, we will look at these and other factors to uncover the pathways men and women take to reach full professor and the different challenges they overcome in order to do that.
The ASA’s–as well as the AHA’s studies–are based on responses to questionnaires. What would you add to such as study? Comment below and share your thoughts with us.
August 30, 2012
Graduate students and recent graduates: we share with you a list of resources especially relevant to those at the Master’s and Doctoral level, courtesy of the American Sociological Association’s Sociological Practice listserv. These resources are particularly useful for those seeking or interested in careers outside of academia:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s New Pathways Program
Executive Order for the New Pathways Program took effect July 10, 2012: http://www.pmf.gov/news-events/new-pathways-programs.aspx. This program streamlines pathways to federal internships and opportunities for careers in the Federal government for students and recent graduates): http://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads. The three programs of this New Pathways Program are:
- Federal Internship Program: http://www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Pathways/program/interns/
- Recent Graduates Program: http://www.opm.gov/HiringReform/Pathways/program/graduates/
- Presidential Management Fellows Program: http://www.pmf.gov/
Students interested in the Presidential Management Fellows Program should sign-up for the PMF listserv to receive updates on the eligibility and 2013 application cycle. They can subscribe by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Subscribe PMF” in the body of the email.
August 14, 2012
Are you a recent doctoral degree recipient in the sociology profession? What has been your experience with seeking positions at the assistant or open rank level? Have you interviewed for academic sociology positions whose preferred expertise differs from your area(s) of study? Do your experiences match our findings? Share your thoughts and stimulate a discussion with others in the field through our blog.
Results from ASA’s fourth job market survey suggest that the job market for recently-graduated sociology PhDs is improving, with the number of available jobs approaching pre-Great Recession years. In 2011, we saw a larger number of open specialties being advertised in the ASA Job Bank than in 2010, and almost 90 percent of advertised positions were for assistant or open rank professorships. The 2011-2012 Job Bank survey also quantified the top five most-frequent and least-frequent advertised areas of specialization in position advertisements, and enumerated the types of non-sociology academic departments that advertised for sociologists in 2011.
The findings from the 2011-2012 study are cause for cautious optimism among new sociology PhDs, though we note that the “overhang” of unplaced or under-placed sociology scholars resulting from the Great Recession (since 2008) is likely to create challenging conditions for recently-graduated PhDs in the field.
August 7, 2012
Recently, College Funding Resource conducted an interview with Roberta Spalter-Roth, PhD–Director of the ASA Department of Research and Development. Listen as Dr. Spalter-Roth discusses what becoming a sociologist entails, and why she places this career field among the top 100 of the decade.
June 8, 2012
Mothers! What has been your experience with timing childbirth in relation to the pursuit of tenure? What difficulties or challenges have you faced in trying to balance teaching and research with parental duties? How favorable have you found your institution’s work-family policies to be in trying to maintain that balance? Our latest research brief, Mothers in Pursuit of Ideal Academic Careers, uses data from the Research and Development Department’s PhD+10 Survey to examine whether gender and parental status influence the likelihood of attaining “ideal” versus “alternative” careers among sociologists. A snapshot of our findings includes: 1. Most women have their first child before receiving tenure; 2. Mothers are more likely than fathers to use work/family policies; 3. Mothers in sociology appear to be as successful following an ideal career track as their male colleagues; and 4. Mothers in ideal careers are more likely to be satisfied with both careers and family than mothers in alternative careers.
The brief is expected to renew some ongoing questions about career decisions and outcomes for women in the sociology profession, and we welcome your thoughts in opening up a dialogue. Please take the time to discuss this issue with your colleagues.
The full report can be accessed here in .pdf format.