Looking around online, there are some statistics that foretell doom for PhD students; some examples of this:
- the number of faculty to retire in the next 10 years is at the lowest in 30 years.
- the number of PhDs awarded is around 100,000, while the number of professor positions open is around 16,000.
- there has been approximately 40% budget cut for math between 2008-2011 (but there was a hiring freeze put on most state universities in 2009-2010, if I remember correctly, so this may not be entirely accurate).
For more statistics, see this: http://marccortez.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/phd-job-crisis-640x4627.gif The creator of this argues that the number of grad students and postdocs is way too high, while the number of professors is on the decline.
I think that this is not true for math. Postdocs are considered to be a mandatory part in our career (and postdoc positions are quite competitive!), and while many people do a second postdoc, I rarely see people with more than two postdoc experiences. Also, there aren't so many adjunct positions; some postdoc positions are called adjuncts, but these usually expire in 1-3 years. So I would like to know the real statistics. In particular, I want to know these figures for last year (percentages with respect to the number of PhDs will also do):
- the number of PhDs awarded (all figures from here onwards applying just to the US)
- the number of PhDs hired as postdocs at PhD-producing institutions
- the number of PhDs hired as tenure-track professors at liberal arts colleges
- the number of postdocs finishing
- the number of postdocs hired as tenure-track professors at PhD-producing institutions
- the number of postdocs hired as tenure-track professors at liberal arts colleges
- the number of postdocs hired as postdocs at PhD-producing institutions
To summarize, I would like to know how harsh the funneling process is in math; I know from experience that many grad students leave academia without obtaining a job as a postdoc. Is the same true of postdocs? How about the tenure-track level?