Chris's post on the job market for linguists circulated instantly here at the University of Arizona, and one of our enterprising recent grads, Shannon Bischoff, thought of comparing Chris's job posting numbers, sorted by area, to numbers of dissertations produced in each area. I post his revised table of figures including the diss numbers below the jump.
"…below each of the job numbers [in the right-hand column, from Chris's table of job ads from 2008] is the number of dissertations listed at proquest in the last 5 years in [each] area…note proquest lists 3124 dissertations in linguistics in the last 5 years in total (I believe I controlled for dissertations in English, and used the subfields as search terms with "linguistics")."
And here's the result of his count:
|Job Ads: Dissertations|
|Computational linguistics||34 (# of job ads targeting this specific area in '08, from Chris's post)
110 (dissertations in last 5yrs)
(no dissertations in 'general linguistics')
Shannon cautions me to warn that his survey of numbers on proquest was not 'scientific', so consider yourselves duly warned! But there are some interesting discrepancies in the ratios of jobs available to ratios of dissertations produced; compare syntax, e.g, with job:diss ratio of 12:749 (0.016), to applied linguistics, with a job:diss ratio of 20:38 (0.526).
And let me just echo Chris's amazement that every 4-year college in the US doesn't have a linguist on the faculty. Linguistics is tailor-made for courses that provide a stimulating, analytical, scientific research experience in the absence of significant amounts of expensive lab equipment or external funding. Students are excited about language and usually surprised and intrigued to discover its hidden complexities as well as to learn more about the more obviously attention-grabbing topics… and language is one of the core human capacities‚ surely suggesting it should be included on the curriculum of any humanistically-oriented undergraduate degree program. Four-year colleges, you're missing a golden opportunity!