Tenure Status of Early Career Doctorate Holders Employed as Postsecondary Faculty, by Field of Degree, 2017Back to table of contents
Tenure Status of Early Career Doctorate Holders Employed as Postsecondary Faculty, by Field of Degree, 201722
A great deal of speculation in recent years has focused attention on off-tenure-track employment replacing tenure-track positions. A survey of PhDs who earned their degree in the past 10 years and work at higher education institutions found that nearly two-thirds of the humanities doctorate holders in faculty positions were either tenured or in tenure-track positions. This share was slightly larger than the shares found in surveys of recent PhDs by the American Historical Association and the Modern Language Association over the past decade.23 The tenure/tenure-track share was also comparable to those in the life and physical sciences, but slightly below those for engineering and the behavioral and social sciences.24
- 22The estimate of humanities non-tenure-track faculty with rank was suppressed by the data collector due to reliability issues.
- 23L. Maren Wood and Robert B. Townsend, “The Many Careers of History PhDs: A Study of Job Outcomes, Spring 2013,” American Historical Association; Dylan Ruediger, “Where Historians Work: An Interactive Database of History PhD Career Outcomes,” American Historical Association; David Laurence, “Where Are They Now? Occupations of 1996–2011 PhD Recipients in 2013,” The Trend (February 17, 2015); and David Laurence, “More on the Career Paths of PhDs in English and Other Modern Languages,” The Trend (August 28, 2018).
- 24Custom tabulation of data from the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Doctorates Study (ECDS). Special thanks to Kelly Phou at the foundation for her generous assistance. The ECDS universe is composed of PhDs, irrespective of nationality, who earned their doctorate in the 10 years preceding the administration of the survey and were working at a master’s degree or doctorate-granting U.S. academic institution during the week of October 1, 2017.