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Job prospects after a PhD in Management..

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Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 07:50
I've seen the AACSB report that estimates some 2000 vacancies by 2016. I am especially concerned about research/tenure track jobs after I got the information from a second year PhD student in a top-5 bschool that there are typically 50 to 100 applications for each assistant professor vacancy in a top bschool!

If getting a job post PhD is so competitive, what are the chances for anyone from a top-25 bschool to be left in the lurch without a job? After sacrificing 4 years at the prime of one's career, I'm sure this is a terrible situation to be in..

I think about 50-75 PhDs get into the job market every year in management area alone from top-25 assuming 3 from each..
How many vacancy positions are created in top-50 b-schools in all management sub-disciplines every year? (say in Strategy, OB, HRM and IB put together), I am not sure if its 50 or 75 to be able to absorb all job market candidates..

And if we consider outside of Top-50 business schools, how many have strong PhD providing departments?
For instance in U Kentucky Gatton school (taking this as an example for a outside of top-50 school) the page says 'no job market candidates in management'.. so maybe not much research happens in lower ranked schools?
http://gatton.uky.edu/Units/SOM/Faculty ... M&AREA=MGT

So, my question is: How good are the job prospects after a PhD in Management, considering graduation year to be 2013-2014?
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 08:07
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The first job is indeed a hurdle and this is true for everyone, but the good news is that you can improve your chances significantly with a publication record, strong letter of recommendations. Don't worry about the number of applicants. Who you work with, how passionate you are about your work and how hard you are willing to work often makes the most difference in the long run.

a. Have one publication in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be in the top 10% of applicants for any research school.

b. Have two publications in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be among the top 2 candidates at most research schools - you will probably need a good predigree if you want to get into higher ranked schools, but I think it is more important to look for good fit . When you select a university after your PhD, you have to like the people, the funding, the teaching load, the weather, the schools (for your kids), the restaurants, everything.... You will only be in a position to have this luxury if you are the best of the best.

A lot of candidates take an extra year to complete their PhD - It makes a lot of sense to me.

There will ALWAYS be a need for qualified applicants --- qualified is the key word and the answer is often a publication record.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 08:09
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1. Not every PhD grads will go into academia. Some will go into the industry or NPO. This may be more common in some fields (e.g. finance, econs) than the others.

2. Not every grad from the Top 25 will want to work in a Top 50. E.g. some would like to go back to their home countries.

3. Even if there is no PhD department, there still could be good research going on.

The truth is it is difficult for one to predict what would happen in 4 to 5 years' time. But what we can do is at least try to position ourselves as best as we can - have a few quality working papers (or pubs), good networks, and realistic expectations.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 16:24
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There are always jobs, it is just a matter of where, not really when. Some people do elect to stay a fifth year to insure a pub before they leave. Yes, at least one a-level pub is generally a good start. But it is rare to have a pub before your fourth year (a-level) You go "on the market" as early as your third year after comprehensive exams. Meaning, you are out there networking long before you graduate. And publication can take 2-3 years. If you start a paper your second year, it could be until after you graduate before it gets accepted and published.

Overall, you should be talking to scholars in your area, going to AOM conferences, and getting to know schools you are interested in pretty early. Don't underestimate the power of connections. There are jobs, it is just a matter of which schools are hiring when you are on the market. Oh, and be prepared to put out at least 50 applications to schools.

(Oh, and U of Kentucky does quite a bit of research... the faculty in management is completely different from a year/two years ago... It is now considered one of the best programs for the study of social networks.)
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 18:35
first, I agree with tkkoh. for example, if and when I finish my phd (wharton/management) I probably won't enter the US job market... prefer going home, or at least get closer to it in europe. Since about 50% (just an ad-hoc statistics that seems reasonable) of the phd students are international and at least some of them seek jobs outside the US - the pressure in the US is lower...
lower than what you ask - and this is my second point:

you should not worry too much. if you were accepted to phd you'd probably already been selected with a similar ratio, with many of your "competitors" getting a place in other schools. the asst. prof. job market is made of roughly the same people. if you made it once, any reason why you won't make it the second time?

and just to clear the stats... suppose that there are 100 apps for each position, and that there are 50 such positions.... it is very likely that there is a lot of overlapping in this applicant pool (there certainly aren't 5000 fresh phds seeking a job). since at the end each candidate take one job... I think the overall acceptance ratio would go to 1:4 or 1:5 which is a very reasonable competition. and as praetorian mentioned, if you got published already, you'd probably find a job.

don't worry. do your best. and enjoy your time before the hard work really start.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 21:42
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Praetorian wrote:
a. Have one publication in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be in the top 10% of applicants for any research school.

b. Have two publications in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be among the top 2 candidates at most research schools

A lot of candidates take an extra year to complete their PhD - It makes a lot of sense to me.


Praetorian: Thanks.

(a) If you refer to AMR, AMJ, SMJ, ASQ & OS as top journals, I am amazed how we can aim to publish in these when we are yet to complete the PhD.. I can't imagine the kind of effort required to get accepted in these journals when every professor in the world wants to publish here. Do 'phd students' frequently publish in these journals? What percentage of papers in these come from students? Any idea..

(b) So by second year we've to start writing papers if we want publishings by end of third and fourth year, right?

(c) By extra year you mean the fifth year.. And what will happen to the stipend, I think we are 'guaranteed funding' only for 4 years right? I hope we don't have to pay tuition and continue to get stipend as well..
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 21:45
josh478 wrote:
If you start a paper your second year, it could be until after you graduate before it gets accepted and published.
Overall, you should be talking to scholars in your area, going to AOM conferences, and getting to know schools you are interested in pretty early. Don't underestimate the power of connections.
(Oh, and U of Kentucky does quite a bit of research... the faculty in management is completely different from a year/two years ago... It is now considered one of the best programs for the study of social networks.)


Thanks Josh.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2008, 21:50
hobbit wrote:
I think the overall acceptance ratio would go to 1:4 or 1:5 which is a very reasonable competition. and as praetorian mentioned, if you got published already, you'd probably find a job.

don't worry. do your best. and enjoy your time before the hard work really start.


If acceptance ratio is 1/4 in a top school and say 1/2 in a lower ranked school, where do the others who don't end up in academics go? I know people who do PhD in engineering (computer science) or economics land up in industry jobs in typically entry level in R&D, Statistical jobs respectively.. What kind of jobs do PhD management guys get in industry?

And when does the hard work really start? If post PhD competition for academic jobs is high, and if there is publishing pressure from second year I think the hard work starts from day 1. :-)
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2008, 06:49
don_strategy wrote:

(a) If you refer to AMR, AMJ, SMJ, ASQ & OS as top journals, I am amazed how we can aim to publish in these when we are yet to complete the PhD.. I can't imagine the kind of effort required to get accepted in these journals when every professor in the world wants to publish here. Do 'phd students' frequently publish in these journals? What percentage of papers in these come from students? Any idea..

(b) So by second year we've to start writing papers if we want publishings by end of third and fourth year, right?

(c) By extra year you mean the fifth year.. And what will happen to the stipend, I think we are 'guaranteed funding' only for 4 years right? I hope we don't have to pay tuition and continue to get stipend as well..


a) I don't think it is frequent enough. And my guess is that Praetorian was referring more towards being a co-author, rather than a single student author. Also, even if you get a "conditionally accepted" - i.e. in the review stages, it should also help when you are on the job market.

c) It works from school to school. Usually tuition is waived, but you have to work for your stipends. Or go for a post-doc. Get a company to sponsor you. Be creative.

There is this guy who was working with a company for his dissertation. He manged to get the company to give him a stipend for 12 months, which later was extended to 18 months.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 10 Feb 2008, 08:11
A lot of great advice here. I would take all the advice very seriously -- this is really good feedback for you. tkkoh has it right. It does not have to be a single author article. Working with faculty is your best bet.

a) As far as publication is concerned, yes, the odds are difficult, but it has been done. And no wonder, the reward for such an achievement is tremendous.

It is infinitely easier to toil away during your PhD - the reward is clear, the motivation is there and you have infinite more time. Ask any assistant professor and you will often get the advice - make good use of your time during your PhD. Take difficult courses, be politically astute (learn HOW to say 'no' - you cannot be everywhere) and keep the focus on research.

b) Why start research in your second year? You should be actively talking to faculty in the summer before you even join the PhD program.

Read extensively - not just in your area of interest. You may not see the benefits right away,
but you need this exposure.

Fix motivation. You absolutely must like what you are doing. There is no way you can produce good work in and after your PhD if you are not enjoying the experience.

Find the right person to work with - right attitude with a lot of self esteem -- it is impossible to work with people who do not have a high opinion of their work.

c) About the fifth year, even if you have this option available, please do not plan for five years. Plan for three years -- please see my post on "phd lifestyles". Do not worry about this now. If I had a good chance of a publication and the department won't provide support for the fifth year, use your savings or take out a student loan for your tuition -- how bad can it be? Yes, I am that serious about the value of a publication.


don_strategy wrote:
Praetorian wrote:
a. Have one publication in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be in the top 10% of applicants for any research school.

b. Have two publications in a top journal by late fall of your fourth year - you will be among the top 2 candidates at most research schools

A lot of candidates take an extra year to complete their PhD - It makes a lot of sense to me.


Praetorian: Thanks.

(a) If you refer to AMR, AMJ, SMJ, ASQ & OS as top journals, I am amazed how we can aim to publish in these when we are yet to complete the PhD.. I can't imagine the kind of effort required to get accepted in these journals when every professor in the world wants to publish here. Do 'phd students' frequently publish in these journals? What percentage of papers in these come from students? Any idea..

(b) So by second year we've to start writing papers if we want publishings by end of third and fourth year, right?

(c) By extra year you mean the fifth year.. And what will happen to the stipend, I think we are 'guaranteed funding' only for 4 years right? I hope we don't have to pay tuition and continue to get stipend as well..
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 12 Feb 2008, 00:17
Thanks tkkoh, hobbit and Josh.
Praetorian: I read your comments on PhD lifestyles and there is a lot of useful info that you've given there. Thanks a lot for all the help.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2008, 09:01
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Quick comment about publications. Most academics never publish, or they might publish 1 article. It sounds crazy, but it is true. Most simply aren't interested or don't want to invest the time and energy. As someone mentioned it is difficult, but if you have the right people guiding you from the start it increases your chances. At my school we have two senior editors from A journals (management) and all faculty are actively researching, writing and publishing. That is a HUGE advantage because these scholars can help you early on developing the right foundation for getting good pubs. Most active academics are also reviewers, which again give the grad student a good head start.

Something I would reiterate, start research as early as possible, work with faculty as much as you can and get feedback on your early manuscripts from people that will give you an honest, critical assessment. It will only make you better and sharpen your ideas. Submit to conferences with peer-review, that is really valuable feedback (e.g. AOM annual meeting).

If you have an interesting idea, don't be bashful about soliciting the advice of leaders on that topic, even if they don't reside at your school/program.

Oh, remember, this is supposed to be fun!

(Gomez-Mejia Balkin 1992 (dated, but still accurate) has a paper on the impact of publications on faculty salary, read it--two ways to make more money: change jobs, get A-pubs. Its an agency theory perspective.)
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 16 Feb 2008, 18:47
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I have followed the job market very closely this year because I plan to be there in the near future. As many already posted, you will get a job for sure. It's just matter of where. I guesstimate that there are about 120-150 fresh PhDs in Strategy/Entrepreneurship in the job market each year. As someone said, I guesstimate that about 20-30% of them go back to their country or pursue a non-academic career. That leaves us with about 90-110 new fresh PhDs per year. There were more than 120 jobs in Strategy/Entrepreneurship this year according to the AoM placement web site. No wonder everyone's screaming "shortage of PhDs!!!". In fact, many teaching school jobs remain unfulfilled year after year.

Of course, getting a job at a top 50 school is still very challenging, but with one A pub, you're half way in. There were fewer than 10 fresh PhDs with an A pub (this includes co-authorships) in this year's Strategy/Entrepreneurship job market. I don't know where everyone will end up. I (directly or indirectly) know about half of them. They all got offers from a top 50 school.

So don't worry about job prospects. If this is something you feel you'll enjoy for the rest of your life, go for it. By the way, salary-wise, it's not that much different being employed by a top school or a second or even third tier school... maye just 20-30% difference, which can be offset by cost of living differentials. It's just matter of prestige and research support/teaching loads that one gets.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 18:52
My observations for this year job market is pretty consistent with hdp323's comment. Have spoken to a few candidates, etc.

Echoing what has been mentioned a few times, publication matters. All the candidates selected for job talk in my department has at least 1 good pub (many are co-authored).
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 20:23
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I think that a co-author is the norm. I am curious about how others view this solo versus co-author thing. It is just my opinion, but even if you come up with an idea on your own you will be working closely with your supervisor to smooth it out and get it ready. Wouldn't it be common curtsy to put both the names on it? I know that any pub will help in the job market, but I wonder if a solo pub would carry much more weight? I would be interested to hear what others think about this.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 21:09
Personally opinion - solo flights would be more impressive. But junior pilots usually work with at least one senior pilot for a smoother flight. Sometime it is the need for certain skillset or expertise. Sometime it is to have more flights within a given period of time. Sometime it is for political reasons.

Also, if you have co-piloted with a well-known pilot, it has certain signaling effects. Helps to open doors....
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 22:33
tkkoh wrote:
Personally opinion - solo flights would be more impressive. But junior pilots usually work with at least one senior pilot for a smoother flight. Sometime it is the need for certain skillset or expertise. Sometime it is to have more flights within a given period of time. Sometime it is for political reasons.

Also, if you have co-piloted with a well-known pilot, it has certain signaling effects. Helps to open doors....


disclaimer: I have yet to publish my first paper in managment...
I am with tkkoh about the perception of solo/co-author publications.
but it is perception... if I could ignore the effects of this perception on my career - I would co-author for the rest of my life. I believe true scholarship is all about interaction and learning things together.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 17 Feb 2008, 22:41
hobbit wrote:
I believe true scholarship is all about interaction and learning things together.


That is kind of what I am getting at. To me, collaboration and the combining of ideas is what this is all about. Well, in any case I will not be solo publishing while I am in my PhD, I don't think I have it in me to hand a manuscript to my mentor without their name attached. I have to agree about perception though.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2008, 10:11
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For me, collaboration is a much more enjoyable way to do research. However, it's my understanding that when you co-author with a prof, she/he will get all the credit (uncertainty leads to presumption). It's very hard solo authoring though, since we as Ph.D. students have not immersed ourselves in the literature to have that advantage in developing and framing a good idea within context.

An alternative is co-authoring with other students. It makes sense that both will receive a lot of credit for the work, and I have heard from various sources (who have done it) that it is in fact the case. I don't know how common it is to have something done prior to finishing the Ph.D. in this way, but I do know people who have started working together while students and finished in their first year or two as faculty.
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management.. [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2008, 11:16
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I have seen a number of papers co-authored by students and faculty. Mostly in conference proceedings, but also a few actual pubs. I think whether the student gets some credits depends on how much involvements he has. If he is very involved, I don't see why the credit should all go to the prof.

Anyway, there is this paper in AMR - both authors were PhD candidates when the paper was accepted/published. http://www.jstor.org/view/03637425/ap010081/01a00070/0
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Re: Job prospects after a PhD in Management..   [#permalink] 18 Feb 2008, 11:16
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