A few years ago for every fresh PhD graduate in Management Information System (MIS), there were three open faculty positions. Then the ratio of graduates to positions dwindled to 1: 2, then to 1:1.5, later to 4:1. Finally MIS departments all over started shutting down or being merged into Management, Operations or other departments and today hardly any schools offer a PhD in MIS.

It is possible that there are still many fields where for every PhD graduate there are 2, 3 or more open faculty positions. Are there any areas with faculty shortages these days? Animal Sciences? Genetics? Psychology? Sociology? Wildlife Sciences? Mechanical Engineering? Computer Science? Statistics? Any field at all?

  • 4
    "for every fresh PhD...there were three open faculty positions"? [citation needed]!
    – JeffE
    Mar 15 '12 at 22:00
  • 1
    Having gone through an exhausting hiring season (from the hiring side), I can guarantee you that Computer Science does NOT have a problem with too many slots and too few candidates.
    – Suresh
    Mar 16 '12 at 2:54

At least in the US, I can't think of very many fields where there are shortages of applicants for available faculty positions, especially in this day and age with the current economy.

Even when times were booming back in the mid-90's and in the 2000's, you'd still have dozens or even hundreds of applicants for any available faculty position. With the economy still somewhat depressed, you still have lots of people chasing after an even smaller number of positions than before. So I still think that in any viable field of academia, you'll still see applicants outnumbering vacancies. It's only in subdisciplines or departments that probably should not have been separated out in the first place that would end up having gluts of available positions.


From what I've heard the situtation is really good for statistics in the UK. If you get a PhD and want to stay in academia, you're basically guaranteed a faculty position. This is certainly not the case in general though.

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