PhD Pathways - Where are our graduates?

August 15, 2016 by Sherri Klassen

Graduating with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto can lead to a variety of careers. We've had 263 PhD graduates since 1978 and can find employment information about 227 of them. Some trends to note:

The majority of our PhD graduates get tenure stream positions in Canada and around the world

Of those we can find data for, 74% of all of our graduates are (or were) pursuing academic careers in tenure track positions. Seventy-one percent of them (122) had positions in Canada. Another 23 have positions in the United States. The rest are around the world.

It can take awhile

Data for recent years shows fewer alumni in tenure stream positions and shows more in postdoctoral or research associate positions. Several of our alumni have taken a few post-doc positions and/or short-term teaching positions before finding and accepting a tenure track position.

A number of our grads have always found employment outside academia

Ten of our graduates since 1978 have found employment in the provincial or federal public service. This was not a preferred or viable option from the mid 1980s to the end of the 1990s but it was before, and it is again. Another fourteen graduates found positions in the private and non-profit sectors. Others are working in "alternative academic" positions within universities and research centres.

Data Analysis appears to be a key skill

Many of the PhD alumni who are working outside of universities have job titles like data analyst, research director, researcher or research associate. There are also a number of consultants who may or may not be using data analysis skills in their daily activities. Very few are pursuing careers which have no apparent connection to the skills gained in graduate school.