Tag: PhD

Great Video on Getting a PhD in Political Science – Very Funny

certainly sounds like my 20s…

 

The Duck hasn’t had a good video up in awhile, and for all of you thinking about grad school apps this fall, well, here it is…

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PhD or Not a PhD

It wafake ducks perhaps appropriate that yesterday’s tale of a young pundit’s career unraveling due to falsely claimed PhD coincided with the first meeting of the Doctoral Research Seminar I am teaching. Elizabeth O’Bagy had given the impression that she had finished her dissertation, but apparently not so much.  After tweeting about it, I got some push back–how big of a sin is this?  Do academics have a role in gate-keeping/outing those who lie about their credentials?

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So Should Policy Schools Have PhD Programs?

So, I teach at a policy school, and though our core pedagogical enterprise is the MA program, we have a small PhD program that is a mix of political science, economics, and maybe a dash of public administration. Though I have not worked closely with that many PhD students, the ones I have worked have been superb. Still, the job market being as it is, it is always tough for graduates of our program, like any other, to land an academic job. The thing I wonder is: Is it harder for PhD graduates of policy schools to get a job compared to those who graduate from disciplinary programs?

Our students have the advantage of being able and indeed interested in jobs in the policy arena. Some have gone on to quite distinguished jobs at think tanks like the Brookings Institution. We also have a fair number of foreign students who go back home to teach at higher education institutions of their home countries. My worry is that those students seeking an academic job are neither fish nor fowl: they aren’t political scientists, economist, historians, etc.  For would-be employers looking at their varied mix of courses, it might be harder for them to understand what our students are and thus putting them at a disadvantage vis a vis more traditionally trained disciplinary programs.It’s not as if public policy is its own academic discipline, really. (Or, is it? I tend to think not, but how do we know when a new discipline has made it and has enough pedigree and coherent intellectual content to be recognized by others as a distinct area of study?)

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An Open Letter to Someone Contemplating a PhD and Parenting

Dear PhD Prospective (with kids or thinking about kids),

Thanks for contacting me.  It sounds like you missed Steve Saideman’s sage advice and are actually going to be trying to get a PhD in political science.  Many top people in the discipline will keep working to discourage you from attending – with your best interest at heart – but it sounds like you aren’t going to take their advice to avoid a PhD altogether.[1]   So, welcome aboard!  It’s a fun profession and you’re just at the starting line.

It also appears that you are either (a) a parent already or (b) thinking about becoming a parent sometime during your PhD.  This isn’t surprising – a typical PhD path overlaps with a good chunk of a person’s child-bearing years. There has already been a lot written on how difficult it is to be on the tenure-track or in a policy position with kids.  For those interested in policy work, Anne-Marie Slaughter recommended the option (mainly for women) of avoiding the profession until after your kids are grown.  This might work for you and you are contacting me with kids in college.  If so, congrats!  You avoided this issue and just have to hope that your family commitments stay limited while you work on your PhD.  For all us other sorry souls without a trust fund/wealthy spouse that can support us while we sit on the sidelines for 20 years, please keep reading – this (faux) email is for you.

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