Hard Work and You Can’t Get It: An International Comparative Analysis of Gender, Career Aspirations, and Preparedness Among Politics and International Relations PhD Students

Daniel Casey, Serrin Rutledge-Prior, Lisa Young, Jonathan Malloy, Loleen Berdahl

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Do all PhD students aspire to an academic career? Do PhD programs appropriately prepare students for the realities of the job market? There is a well-established gap between political science PhD graduates and tenure-track academic postings. The mismatch between PhD graduates and academic positions may point to alternative models of doctoral education as a possible solution. However, the survey of Canadian and Australian PhD students described in this article suggests that issues and challenges are common regardless of the model of doctoral education. Canadian PhDs report more mentoring activity, but they also are more fixated on securing academic positions. However, we find important gender differences across countries: men are more interested in an academic career and only a (disproportionately male) minority is confident that they will succeed in securing a faculty career. This raises questions about diversity in the future of the profession. This research suggests that although students have different experiences under different doctoral models, issues of academic jobs and a mismatch are common in both systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)402 - 410
    JournalPS: Political Science & Politics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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