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Math, Science, and Technial Academia

  1. Sep 25, 2010 #1
    I wanted to post this for the sake of clarification. I always hear that academia has "so few jobs for physics PhDs" and all that. What is the degree to which this is a problem? Can one find the rate at which people from a PhD program of "caliber" X (I know caliber can vary across many factors) leave academia?

    We all know academia is elitist, and connections do help. A big name school is a place with many big name researchers, one or two of which can vouch for you when applying for jobs. So I'm curious as to the approximate rate that top 25 PhD program members drop out of academia, either for family reasons, not wanting to wander around as a postdoc for ages, or simply not being able to find a position they want in a while. And what makes someone actually understand that rate.

    Forgive me if this info has come up -- I have seen *unspecific* info floating around on this subject, and few specifics to give a real idea, in the time I have been reading PF.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2010 #2
    And just to save the experienced posters here trouble, let me also say I'm aware that it can have to do with funding, field of research, etc.

    So perhaps I should be asking both about the rates and some reasons experienced people have found that people leave academia.
  4. Sep 25, 2010 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    You can find statistics on the numbers of new PhDs and academic job openings for the USA here:


    These will give you at least an overall picture, although probably not broken down according to the "level" of the PhD-granting institution ("top 15" etc.).
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