From The Atlantic:
American universities award more than 60,000 doctoral degrees every year. However, there are not enough academic jobs for all those graduates. One study asserts that only 41 percent of Ph.D.s will find tenure-track positions. Some studies are slightly more optimistic. In a report for the academic journal PS, Jennifer Seagal Diascro reported that 49 percent of the 816 Ph.D.s who graduated from political science programs between 2009 and 2010 found permanent academic positions.
As universities increase the number of adjunct and non-tenure track lines at the expense of tenure positions, the number of Ph.D.s without permanent positions is unlikely to change….
And what about the rest of the graduates, the ones who didn’t make the tenure track? Savage found that 80 percent of recent graduates had stable, full-time positions, even if they were not working as professors. He said that many graduates later found work as administrators within the CUNY system. Some found jobs in research fields, thanks to the quantitative skills gained in graduate school. Others were writers, librarians, and social workers. One is now a Buddhist monk.
Of the 471 Ph.D.s that Savage tracked, though, only two were employed as teachers in private or public schools. It’s surprising that so few scholars are transitioning to K-12 education when unable to find work within academia. Nation-wide, fewer than one percent of all public elementary and secondary school teachers have Ph.Ds.
Why isn’t public-school teaching a viable Plan B for Ph.D.s?