We’ve talked a lot about how the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has affected many places of work, but it might surprise you to know that it’s been very hard on higher education. Throughout the country, colleges and universities are slashing budgets, furloughing employees and imposing hiring freezes. And as in other fields, those conditions are especially tough on those at the beginning of their careers, graduate students and newly-minted grads seeking their first academic positions.
But a new book makes the case that graduate education was in trouble long before the pandemic. Ph.D.s can take years to complete, about half of students never finish, and job prospects are diminishing. The book is called “The New PhD: How To Build A Better Graduate Education.” And in it, two scholars with long histories in the academic world offer their views on the problems facing graduate education from admissions to advising and what needs to be done to make it a better experience for students and more productive for the economy.