Why Amazon is hiring more Ph.D.s than any college

Amazon has hired nearly 500 Ph.D.s in this year alone, far out pacing the faculty hiring trends of any other college in the United States, Audrey June reports for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Many of Amazon's doctoral hires will work in the firm's applied science or research science teams, she notes. Compared with the retail behemoth's hiring spree, some patches of the academic job market come close, but don't quite match it.

The University of California, Riverside has hired more than 250 faculty members within the past four years, June reports. Similarly, the University of Connecticut has brought on 450 new faculty members in the past few years, she adds.

Amazon's hiring spree may come as bittersweet news for administrators and students who are anxious about Ph.D. job prospects.  

While many doctoral students begin with aspirations of becoming a professor, those who succeed in the academic job market are few and far between, Leonard Cassuto writes for the Chronicle. In reality, tenure and full-time faculty positions are harder than ever to come by—which means graduate students need more career guidance than ever.

To better support doctoral students, many institutions are reevaluating what graduate career success looks like beyond the tenure track.

3 ways to diversify your faculty recruitment pipeline

In addition to tracking academic placement numbers, many doctoral programs are now documenting the career outcomes of students who take a non-academic career path. Universities are also banding together to get a clearer look of where doctoral students work after graduation, Cassuto writes.

For example, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is launching a multi-institutional longitudinal study to survey current doctoral students on their career aspirations and alumni on their career paths, he notes.

Julia Kent, the assistant vice president at CGS, says she hopes the study can shed some light on the career diversity of doctoral students (Cassuto, Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/26; June, Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/26).

Related: Why your doctorate students need a mentor

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