Our advanced-degree programs in English Literature/Film and Writing Studies are designed to provide students with the training in research and teaching they need to obtain academic jobs. However, because of the limited number of college and university faculty positions, we also have two faculty placement-officers conduct letter-writing workshops and multiple mock interviews for job-seekers, making our placement service a model across campus and nationwide.
We consistently place more than half of our literature and film Ph.D.s in tenure-track jobs. We are especially pleased to report that every one of our recent writing studies Ph.D.s has secured a tenure-track position; since 2002, in fact, about 80% of our job seekers in all fields have received one. Despite these encouraging statistics, it is nevertheless the case that the academic-job market remains depressed, and there is little indication freezes in public-university funding will allow it to improve in the near future.
Due in part to the limited number of tenure-track jobs, about a third of the students who enter our M.A. programs decide not to complete the Ph.D. degree. Most students who leave with the M.A. find it provides them with strong leverage in other areas of work or study; in recent years these areas have included law school, library school, technical writing, academic administration, secondary and primary education, computing, entrepreneurship, and union organizing.
A recent national study by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has discovered that, ten years after winning their Ph.D.s in English, almost all degree-holders with non-academic jobs were glad they had attended graduate school, convinced it had equipped them with skills vital to their current careers. We work to counter rocky market conditions by offering sustained and vigorous support for our students on the academic-job market.