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Subject: Re: grads. jobs & fisheries
From: grossman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 16 Apr 1997 14:52:49 EDT

text/plain (55 lines)

The posts regarding how much more difficult it is to find a PhD level
position in academia or research nowadays,
as opposed to 15 years ago caused me to wonder about my claim that
 there were, in fact, more academic/research positions available now
than during my own job search years of 1979-1980.  Tom Kwak's post clearly
showed how both positions could be correct (i.e. more jobs but harder to
to get) and my original comment was based on job placements of my own grad
students which could be a biased sample.  Nonetheless, as Tom K. noted, his
post did not contain specific information on fisheries position, hence, the
job availability question remains unanswered.  So, given that we're
trying to facilitate interaction between "seniors" (how I *hate* that
term) and students, I'll make the following challenge.  I will be attending
 both ASIH and AFS meetings this year, and I will buy lunch, dinner, or
two drinks for any student attending either of these meetings
if they post the following information to the list (or if Aldo thinks it
should be done privately, to me at my private address): mean # academic
/research positions in fisheries advertised in Science per year
for the following time periods (1978-1980, 1984-1986, 1990-19

There are several other comments that I would like to make with respect
to the other posts. First, with reference to Aldo's claims that 4-7
publications are needed to obtain a PhD today, I can only say that
is certainly not true for a PhD in the United States.  From my
experiences at the Universities of California and Georgia, as well as
having served on perhaps 10 search committees, I suspect that 2-4
publications in international journals constitute a satisfactory PhD
at the vast majority of U.S. schools (and there are far more 2's
than 4's).  Second, although the quality of PhD's has gone up, I don't
see any 'drastic' differences between what is being done now and
what was done 15 years ago (by this statement, I mean that plenty of
15 year old theses would be sucessful today too).  What has happened,
IMHO, is that the variance between labs has increased, which means
that choice of a major prof./lab/program, has become more critical.
In addition, I also question Aldo's statements regarding how much
more is required of PhD's today.  The requirements at my institution
(certainly a major player in the ecology field) are no different from
those that I faced at Univ. California Davis.  There can be no *doubt*
that there is more information out there today, and in fact students
seem much more specialized then they were when I was in school (of
course that's what the ppl that taught us also said :) ).  I would
also remind folks that in fact, some things are much easier for grad
students these days.  Remember we didn't even have p.c.s or diskettes
in those days, you did everything on the main frame and you lugged
around these huge boxes full of punch cards (now there's a dated
image).  All right, i'm starting to sound too much like my
grandfather.      The final point that I would like to make is that
I think we should try and keep the discussion constructive, and
relevant to the topic at hand.
Calling other people's posts "trivial", making snide comments, or
using someone's post to grind your own axe, certainly don't
contribute to the main goal of this list (i.e. facilitating open
and honest information among students and professionals).  In fact
the frequency of such flames may account for the relatively low
participation of many seniors on this list, a situation that has
been commented on previously.  sincerely, gary grossman

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