The academic gloom-and-doom stories are moving north. Fresh off a New York Times story about new PhDs having trouble finding jobs in a year when so many searches are being cancelled, the Globe and Mail reports (a few years too late) that maybe minting all those extra PhDs wasn’t such a great idea after all. As I have said before, I think it’s a patently bad idea to wantonly expand PhD programs in any country without regard to what the students are being trained to do or where they will wind up, but it’s an especially bad idea in a small country like Canada.
There’s much more to say about this, but the only thing I’ll add for now is that given the speed of academic job markets, we are looking at “snapshot reporting” here and the real question is how the market will look over the next few years. Right now, administrators are simply running scared in many places, which inevitably strikes fear into faculty and students.