MacLeans points out one of the issues raised by a recent ASA publication titled Moving Toward Recovery: Findings from the 2010 Job Bank Survey:
It’s not all good news, however. The report also surveyed PhD candidates and found some major mismatches between their “areas of special interest” and the jobs that were available in 2010.
One of the widest gaps is in criminology (a.k.a. social control, crime, law and deviance), which made up 31 per cent of all postings on the ASA’s job site in 2010, but was only listed as an area of special interest for 18 per cent of PhD candidates whom were surveyed by the ASA.
The opposite problem exists too. More people are interested in “inequities and stratification” than any other field — 35 per cent of candidates chose it as one of their special interests — but only 19 per cent of jobs advertised were in that area.
There’s also a shortage of jobs for those interested in teaching gender and sexuality. One fifth of students are interested in the subject, but only one tenth of advertised jobs were in that field.
The article misses one other subfield with a large difference: 8.4% of advertised jobs were looking for someone in the sociology of culture while 24.3% of students had an interest in this area.
Will the free market work this out? Who needs to change in this area: should students start pursuing these in-demand sub-fields or do graduate programs hold any responsibility, perhaps for encouraging students in subfields that reflect their faculty more than the jobs available in the field?