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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Request insights on future of the job market (guest post)

(Guest Post from Dave Doty on the Fall 2009 Hiring Season.)

The CS academic hiring season for Fall 2009 was, to understate the point, a bit sparse, as predicted by Lance Fortnow last year. Sixty lucky, and as yet unnamed, CIFellows, as well as some others able to tread water as TAs, RAs, or postdocs, can wait out the storm, but at some point in the next year, those without a tenure-track job need to make a decision about what to do with their Ph.D.: try for academic jobs, or dust off the programming textbooks (a thick coating of dust for some of us in theory) and start preparing for industry interviews. Our choice depends, of course, on the level of recovery of the academic job market in the next year.

I have no insight of my own into this, but I hope to use the far reach of this blog to sample the opinions of the community about how the Fall 2010 CS academic job market will look. Hopefully, the opinions will be informed by actual information, although secondhand anecdotal information, as well as rampantly speculative conjecture by faculty, will nonetheless exceed my level of insight and is welcome. I can imagine these possibilities:
  • Recovery to "normal" levels
  • Recovery to substandard levels, but more than the paltry offerings this year
  • Recovery to better-than-average levels as universities try to make up for the low hiring level this year
  • Normal demand for assistant professors, but a larger supply since many who would have applied this year are waiting until next, and then the 2009 and 2010 graduates will be competing together
  • The complete implosion of civilization
  • Some scenario laid out completely in a Communications of the ACM article that I simply failed to read
Disclaimer: I am a graduating student who, like many readers, is investing time getting a Ph.D. because I want a tenure-track academic position, and I understand the temptation to complain about perceived flaws in the way some universities are handling the financial crisis. But what I mainly hope to obtain in the comments is field intelligence about next year's job market from anyone "in the know", and it's probable that such people are more likely to post their thoughts if they don't perceive their posting to be within a sea of anger.

Dave Doty

64 comments:

  1. I expect it to be even worse for Theory PhDs next year. As the situation at many state and private universities becomes worse, the faculty most likely to flee from academia to industry are going to be the non-theoretical, so I conjecture that the hiring committees are more to skew their hiring towards the gaps that have sprung up in their departments then are likely to strengthen a theory group that is as strong as ever.

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  2. consider sending your job applications to theoryap.microsoft@com

    (Note1: "." and "@" are switched for automatic spam avoidance.

    Note 2: It is only a single "p" in the alias and not double which some people naturally tend to use. I know we should have used "pp" in the end, but there must be some reason behind).

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  3. Leave US, join Indian and Chinese universities. They are expanding like anything and are quite good too!!

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  4. Can you get a job at an Indian university without indian citizenship?

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  5. Yes, and unfortunately they are paid more than the Indians.
    Indians like foreigners more than Indians themselves :(

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  6. I think theoretical CS Phd's are now expected to do one or two stints as postdocs before applying for a permanent position -- as is the norm in mathematics.
    This should cushion the impact of temporary financial crisis which tend to affect mostly tenure-track jobs (and often increase the number of available postdoc positions).

    According to the August issue of the AMS notices, of the 491 Phds from Group I departments, 165 found employment (which I assume to be postdoc positions) in Group I universities. Given that probably less than half of them (my guess) would eventually get tenure-track positions in Group I departments -- this makes a dismal statistic. What are the corresponding numbers in TCS ?

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  7. the second part of the previous comment is a bit racist. the first part is true but then its dual is also true. foreigners pay more for Indian public facilities. second part is meaningless.

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  8. I have no inside information, except irrelevant information from my own department. Common sense indicates that this will again be a weaker year than normal, and with about twice as many applicants as normal. Therefore, if in a typical year one in ten credible TCS job-seekers finds a tenure-track position, this year maybe it will be one in forty?

    The good news is that I think the CIF postdoc program will have to be extended. It should be made permanent.

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  9. I thought to teach at, for example, IIT, one needs indian citizenship.

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  10. IITs have an acute shortage of faculty. The reason is that most of them are paid quite less. Now after the salary increase, the net salary is around USD 1,000 (house and health is extra).
    This is okay compared to Indian standards, but it is quite less compared to western standards....

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  11. Here's speculation based on limited information but knowledge of a few cases: In the Fall 2009 market, many public universities had not yet felt the full impact of budget cuts and were able to hire. However, the budgets for this coming year are dire - California is one especially nasty example but there are other states where significant CS hiring took place this year knowing that the hard freeze would hit later.

    Private universities, feeling sharp endowment shocks put controls on quickly. I would not expect a decrease in their hiring and with the partial recovery in markets they may be in an even better shape this year than last.

    The good news is that postdocs are more plentiful than ever and as a new theory PhD that is a likely route to the best academic jobs anyway.

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  12. Confirming what previous posters said:

    - faculty hiring is likely to be weak. For example, my university's faculty of [domain encompassing CS] may hire a few positions but several departments will have to compete for them.

    - postdoc money is healthy thanks to the stimulus package. This is true both because of the CI fellows program (and related math programs) and because the NSF/NIH have been generous.

    So my advice to graduating students is to hope for a faculty job but spend real effort on getting a postdoc.

    Note that I found that life as a postdoc much more enjoyable than as a junior faculty member. So take it as a blessing, not a curse ;)

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  13. This suggests a natural next post topic, which is on how grads should go about shopping for a postdoc, and how institutions should best publish their postdoc opportunities.

    The CS postdoc market is, currently, maddeningly inefficient.

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  14. IITs have an acute shortage of faculty. The reason is that most of them are paid quite less. Now after the salary increase, the net salary is around USD 1,000 (house and health is extra).

    This is very ambiguous. Salary figures in the US are normally written as per annum. The figure above is I believe per month.

    Also, do you mean one gets the above-quoted net salary + free housing + free health insurance?

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  15. "So my advice to graduating students is to hope for a faculty job but spend real effort on getting a postdoc."

    My advice would be to spend real effort on getting a job outside academia. It is better to do so now than a year, two or three years from now, when the competition for faculty positions has multiplied every year due to so many people taking extended postdocs. I know this isn't advice that anybody wants to hear, sorry, but it is good to be realistic.

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  16. @14: In India the salary is generally quoted as per month.
    Also all the faculty members get a free house and also health insurance.
    The government of India also gives some other benefits, those can be seen from the websites of the IITs.

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  17. Instead of asking people to forecast the future of the CS job market, my suggestion is to shine a spotlight on the present. I can think of two ways in particular that the math job market is better illuminated than the CS job market. One is MathJobs.org, which is the main database of job applicants for faculty positions and temporary instructorships at the research level. Another way is the Math Jobs Wiki, which lets people see a good fraction of short lists, job offers, and acceptances for these same research-level positions.

    A few weeks ago this blog had a discussion about the arXiv, which began in physics and spread to mathematics, and is much more widely used in those areas than in CS. The arXiv is a great thing, and it is not unrelated to the job market because it helps departments discover and evaluate job candidates. But the arXiv is not the only useful new practice that CS could learn from similar academic disciplines. MathJobs.Org and a jobs wiki are two others. Indeed, the jobs wiki/rumor mill idea also first came from physics.

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  18. But the arXiv is not the only useful new practice that CS could learn from similar academic disciplines. MathJobs.Org and a jobs wiki are two others. Indeed, the jobs wiki/rumor mill idea also first came from physics.


    These are two very good ideas that TCS should adapt. Also, there is such a thing called "Young Mathematicians Network" which helps graduating students and young researchers to voice their concerns and get feedback. Something like that would be very useful in TCS also.

    One thing to consider though is that the job situation in TCS seems to be diverging exponentially away from the situation in other applied areas of CS. For example, consider the many postdoc positions in prestigious math institutes available to TCS graduates. Given this situation, TCS job applicants have probably more common concerns with the math applicants than applied CS people. If this is the case, it probably makes more sense for TCS people to start using the existing math resources referred to above, rather than start from the scratch.

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  19. Another observation is that if you are looking for a faculty job at a non-top school as a theory CS person, you would likely be a better fit in a math department. Few lower level departments have theory classes. They want you to teach "game design" and "web programming" and "xml", which is not really CS. The good thing about math is that even if you are teaching remedial math, at least it is still math.

    --asterix

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  20. "xml" is as much CS as is CS101 Introduction to Programming.

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  21. Jeez, what has TCS become... a refuge for mathematicians wannabes.

    I am working deep inside theory (lower bounds), and yet I would never consider remedial maths to be better than web programming.

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  22. What is "web programming"?

    What is "xml"?

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  23. Given this situation, TCS job applicants have probably more common concerns with the math applicants than applied CS people. If this is the case, it probably makes more sense for TCS people to start using the existing math resources referred to above, rather than start from the scratch.

    In the case of MathJobs.Org, which is the job application system, there is nothing in principle keeping CS departments from using it whether or not it's TCS. MathJobs.Org has a variant project for other departments. The only obstruction is that it is a work in social engineering that hasn't yet been started. Search committees in CS need to be convinced to use the system.

    As for the Math Jobs Wiki, I am one of the people involved in that project. I would not object to TCS positions listed there as long as it's plausible that someone with a math PhD could be hired to such a position. Another issue is that the math and CS hiring seasons are months out of sync at the moment.

    If two job markets are not significantly integrated, it doesn't really add anything for them to share the same jobs wiki page; they should have separate wikis instead.

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  24. Another observation is that if you are looking for a faculty job at a non-top school as a theory CS person, you would likely be a better fit in a math department.

    Math departments will typically consider a TCS person for a faculty position only if they are convinced of the mathematical depth in that person's work. My impression is that only top math departments with an established reputation will do this -- so if one gets a tenre track position in such a department there is no risk of teaching "remedial math". On the flipside, I think for a TCS Phd, chances of getting a theory position in a non-top CS department remain far higher than getting any position in a mathematics department.

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  25. If two job markets are not significantly integrated, it doesn't really add anything for them to share the same jobs wiki page;

    I think its probably in the best interest of TCS people to integrate their job search schedule with the math one. If this is done the top TCS candidates (who are often the mathematically deep ones) can effectively compete for positions in math departments, which will open up more positions in CS departments for the rest of the TCS candidates down the line.

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  26. People should be prepared for the eventuality that the American academic TCS job market may never recover.

    That's what happened to physics starting in the later 70s ... it happened in biomedical research starting in 2004.

    Absent structural changes to the American economy this long-term stagnation may plausibly (IMHO) afflict not only TCS, but the entire American science/math sector.

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  27. The job market in crypto is relatively robust. Postdoc positions seem plentiful, and there are even research labs and universities that are hiring.

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  28. I know of many post-doc positions that are going unfilled. The post-doc market is horribly inefficient. If new PhD's are looking for a post-doc they need to be very active about asking around for openings.

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  29. Any advice on where to look for non academic jobs? And even what to look for? Who's interested TCS Phds even if it's not for TCS?

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  30. What sort of postdocs are there that are unfilled?

    Why don't you help stop the inefficiency and post some info?

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  31. the view from UCSD is exactly the opposite. Years and years of interviewing and making offers and getting rejections ... even this year!
    What is going on?

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  32. The situation for junior-level careers in CS bears so little relationship to that in mathematics that it is almost absurd to discuss them as alternatives one might choose from.

    Many top candidates in CS will have substantial records of publication prior to graduation and will obtain tenure-track faculty positions immediately upon graduation. Some of these candidates will accept these positions and spend a year as a post-doc prior to moving to their faculty position. Other top candidates will take attractive (and sometimes highly lucrative) postdoc positions for two years or so before applying tenure-track faculty positions.

    In mathematics the norm is more to have much lighter publication records upon graduation (with dissertation results published post-graduation) with most, even top people, going to non-tenure track assistant professorships and postdocs that pay much lower salaries than in CS. (The named assistant professorships at top schools being the most prized, though not necessarily more lucrative.)

    There is hugely greater visibility of CS theory candidates versus math candidates prior to graduation which affects many aspects of the job market for new PhDs. It makes it much clearer who the stars are and the same half a dozen or so candidates get the vast bulk of the notice from the top twenty or thirty places. Many very good candidates get too little notice as a result. The relative wealth in CS and the immediate hiring into the tenure track means that top places are willing to invest in a long and careful hiring process which makes it more difficult for places further down the list to know whom they should pursue. The sharp drop-off in the size and quality of CS graduate programs does not help in this regard as lower ranked and less-connected programs will miss out on good candidates they should consider who will not be snapped up by top places.

    A major difference later is that once in a tenure-track position, a CS faculty member may be 5, 6, or even 9 years before tenure. On the other hand, in mathematics, very often the tenure-track faculty positions are only offered after 3 to 6 years of non-tenure track positions and then either directly with tenure or with short tenure clocks.

    The bottom line is that math permanent faculty hiring decisions are typically made at a different career stage from most CS ones. It isn't really fair to present the two as alternatives.

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  33. "The view from UCSD is exactly the opposite. Years and years of interviewing and making offers and getting rejections ... even this year!
    What is going on?"

    What a strange question! I assume that the people who reject your offers are getting other offers that they--for whatever reason--rank higher. Since there are many unemployed people out there and many employed people who would love to work at a dept such as ucsd, you are probably trying to get people "out of your league".

    Obviously if a non-top 4 school only gives offers to someone who already has an offer from MIT, for example, then they will never hire anyone. This is an extreme example, but ucsd must be doing something along these lines ... Just determine if the people you try to "hire" always go to higher ranked departments ...

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  34. "The view from UCSD is exactly the opposite. Years and years of interviewing and making offers and getting rejections ... even this year!
    What is going on?"


    Seriously? UCSD is my dream place. I am hereby cutting my PhD short immediately and applying while they are desperate. Good idea? I only have 3 stoc/focs papers...

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  35. The view from UCSD is exactly the opposite.

    As the rumors go, this year UCSD convinced a top candidate to accept, but then rescinded on his offer due to the California budget crisis. So maybe this is not the best time to complain about not recruiting top people...

    Also, I would not count last year as particularly relevant, as UCSD was turned down by someone with an abnormal amount of personal pride for a job seeker (and, I guess, one of the rare cases who can afford it).

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  36. The bottom line is that math permanent faculty hiring decisions are typically made at a different career stage from most CS ones. It isn't really fair to present the two as alternatives.

    I completely agree. However, at the same time I believe that if TCS job markets were to resemble math, then it would be less stressful for most of the applicants, and offer a more soft-landing to those who are unsuccessful eventually in obtaining a tenure-track position. Even though (unfortunately) the current TCS engineering-oriented publication norms diverge from those in math -- there is some on-going effort to make them more journal centric. Once this happens, TCS job seekers wouldn't be expected to have loads of publications, but one or two journal papers, making them comparable to most math candidates on the market.

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  37. It also depends which subarea you work in. Better be in game theory or provable security. I knew a person with 10 S/F/SODA/Crypto papers and 3 NSF grants, but no top 50 department bother to interview him.

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  38. "Obviously if a non-top 4 school only gives offers to someone who already has an offer from MIT, for example, then they will never hire anyone."

    How many went to MIT?
    Who all are they and where did the rest go??

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  39. Any advice on where to look for non academic jobs?

    You can always try Wall Street.

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  40. I knew a person with 10 S/F/SODA/Crypto papers and 3 NSF grants, but no top 50 department bother to interview him.

    I don't know who you are talking about (how did they have 3 NSF grants before getting a faculty job?), but here's a question: did this person bother applying to any schools outside the top 10?

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  41. perhaps I am out of the loop, but I would love to know which school hired whom last year. I sort of know who the candidates were, but I have no clue which offers were made, and which offers were accepted. It can't be a secret, right? eventually we will all know. It seems that people here are in the know, so if somebody would post this info I would really appreciate it.

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  42. This is why the U.S. is going downhill. Sports stars, entertainers, and CEO's get paid tens of millions of dollars. A very good mathematical scientist (or any scientist for that matter) can't get even a decent, more permanent job after graduation doing science. We're slowly becoming third world, and China and India -- who value technological and scientific talent -- are going to overtake us in no time. It's a sad state of affairs for this country!

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  43. We're slowly becoming third world, and China and India -- who value technological and scientific talent -- are going to overtake us in no time.

    You obviously have no idea what you are talking about, at least w.r.t. India. Do you have any idea how low profs are paid there? And how much movie stars are?

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  44. What takes a department to invite a theorist for interview? An existing theory group whose members convince the hiring committee? Is there a "sexy" way that a theorist can market him/herself to a department with no theory faculty?

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  45. ^You're right. I wasn't thinking when I included India. Ramanujan did not do so well either.

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  46. Is there a "sexy" way that a theorist can market him/herself to a department with no theory faculty?

    Just tell them what your theory is good for and name some applications--the same way you market to (most) students when you teach theory. If you have acquired funding because of your research, your case will be much stronger.

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  47. I think there are other things wrong with the US math/science system that we can blame on ourselves. Just look at the stimulus package science funding. What is it being spent on? How is it helping employ people? More professors are getting grants that they can use for their summer salary (on top of already high salary in some cases). Is anyone aware of a postdoc position (besides the CI fellows) that have been made possible by stimulus funds? Very few CS people would give up a summer salary to get a postdoc.

    As for CIfellows, the salaries are extremely high. Something like 75,000 per year plus 20,000+ for travel funds and moving expenses. While many people go unemployed. So we can rant at the "system", but CS people determined how CI fellow money was to be spend and obviously didn't care about maximizing the number of employed people and helping the field as a whole.

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  48. As for CIfellows, the salaries are extremely high. Something like 75,000 per year plus 20,000+ for travel funds and moving expenses.

    If these figures are true then I must say that I am shocked. An NSF math postdoc typically gets $45000 + some travel support. Prestigious postdoc fellowships at MSRI, IMA, IAS or named assistant professorships probably pay even less. It is ridiculous to offer such high salaries when more positions could be created for the same amount of money.

    The summer salary issue is a bit more delicate. Universities should pay salaries for the full academic year as in other countries. I am not sure why the system is different in the US,

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  49. "The summer salary issue is a bit more delicate. Universities should pay salaries for the full academic year as in other countries. I am not sure why the system is different in the US,"

    Because it allows professors to get more money. Obviously a 9 month salary in the US is often much higher than a full year salary in other countries.

    As for the CIfellow salary, just look at their webpage. They are allocating $140,000 per year per fellow. Some of that is to the university, I believe at 25% indirect cost. The rest is for the fellow. Contrast that to NSF postdoc which allocates about $108,000 per fellow for TWO years.

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  50. Is anyone aware of a postdoc position (besides the CI fellows) that have been made possible by stimulus funds?

    There were a bunch of math postdocs as well: http://www.mathinstitutes.org/news/

    Also is more postdoc positions really better if these postdocs don't find permanent jobs at the end of the day?
    75K does seem like a lot, but most of it will be spent in the economy so the economic stimulus will be efficient.

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  51. "So we can rant at the 'system', but CS people determined how CI fellow money was to be spend and obviously didn't care about maximizing the number of employed people and helping the field as a whole."

    Maximizing the number of employed people does not help the field as a whole. The field would be better off if there were earlier career cullings, and better preparation for jobs outside academia. Already there are many times more postdoc positions than open faculty positions.

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  52. There have been many comments on this thread, but nobody has answered the basic questions. For someone expecting to graduate in the next couple of years, what kind of publication record should they aim for in order to have a decent shot of landing a tenure-track faculty position at:

    1- A top 50 theory group

    2- A top 20 theory group

    3- A top 10 theory group

    I am referring to schools in the US in particular. It would really help if folks in the middle of their phd like myself to have an idea of where the bar is for different prospects. If the bar can be roughly measured in terms of number of STOC/FOCS papers, that would be great. If not, any other quantification would be appreciated.

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  53. "Maximizing the number of employed people does not help the field as a whole. The field would be better off if there were earlier career cullings, and better preparation for jobs outside academia. Already there are many times more postdoc positions than open faculty positions."

    Getting a faculty position is not the only reason to a postdoc. Hopefully, one does learn more about math, science, research during a postdoc, and how can that be a bad thing? Some people want more time to do research after a PhD and then are satisfied with going into industry. If you take what you said literally, it would mean that in the US, we should learn less science on the whole, not more.

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  54. Anonymous said: There have been many comments on this thread, but nobody has answered the basic questions...

    That basic question being: "How can a planet with ten billion people on it sustain a healthy global economy and a viable planetary ecology?"

    If satisfactory answers to this fundamental question are not conceived, then discussion of the CS job market is moot ... moot on time-scales as short as one or two decades.

    "Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic" is not a strategy or a plan.

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  55. what kind of publication record should [a theory student] aim for in order to have a decent shot of landing a tenure-track faculty position at...

    I make no pretense of being able to answer John Sidles' question (though I like www.350.org).

    I can take a stab at anon's question about getting a job (so you can get a better-upholstered deck chair). For calibration purposes: My CS department is high twenties in the US News & World Report ranking. Moreover, we probably won't hire in "pure" theory for a few years. So your mileage may vary.

    a) The main thing you have to do is do important, interesting research, and learn how to explain to people -- in writing, in talks and in person -- why it is important and interesting. The venues you publish in actually matter less than the impact your work has on the community, but of course you should aim for more prestigious conferences when possible since, inevitably, someone asks "are they hitting the right conferences?", or some similarly militaresque question.

    b) In a place like Penn State, it is important that you be able to talk to people outside your immediate discipline. (Bonus points if you have a record of *working* with people outside your discipline.) Essentially, after impact in your own field, the committee seems to value candidates who will

    - bring in external funding
    - be good teachers and pleasant co-workers.

    The funding one is extremely important, and one of the reasons theorists overall have difficulty getting hired. Recent changes at the NSF notwithstanding, systems people and engineers may be skeptical about theorists. The best way to convince them is through your paper introductions, research statement and job talk.

    c) For both (a) and (b) above, I think it helps if you try to explain (if only to yourself) your work without referring to the field in which it is based. I.e., rather than "I do theory", perhaps you find fast ways to process big data sets, make systems more secure, protect privacy, obviate the need for centralized network coordination, try to understand the fundamental limits of computers/physics/the universe, etc.

    If your explanation doesn't sound related to the papers you are writing, perhaps there's a problem. After you've tried this at home, practice on your grad student friends from other areas.

    Like I said, your mileage may vary.

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  56. "Getting a faculty position is not the only reason to a postdoc. Hopefully, one does learn more about math, science, research during a postdoc, and how can that be a bad thing? Some people want more time to do research after a PhD and then are satisfied with going into industry. If you take what you said literally, it would mean that in the US, we should learn less science on the whole, not more."

    You make fine points. However, the reason I said that we should not be trying to maximize employment of postdocs is that this hurts the field in the long run. It will drive talent away. There are certainly people willing to slave away at postdocs even though their chances of getting a permanent academic job are at best one in ten, maybe one in twenty or worse. This is an efficient way to fund research since postdoc salaries are low. However, the best people will usually go elsewhere.

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  57. Anonymous said .. There are certainly people willing to slave away at postdocs even though their chances of getting a permanent academic job are at best one in ten, maybe one in twenty or worse. This is an efficient way to fund research since postdoc salaries are low. However, the best people will usually go elsewhere.

    By traditional standards, this is a reasonable point of view. But can a planet with ten billion people on reasonably be regarded as "traditional"? Or are we embedded in new circumstances ... in which the traditional meaning even of terms like "best people" and "elsewhere" is evolving?

    As an exercise, I took Wikipedia's list of the traditional attributes of "mathematical maturity":

    • the capacity to generalize from a specific example to broad concept • the capacity to handle increasingly abstract ideas • the ability to communicate mathematically by learning standard notation and acceptable style • a significant shift from learning by memorization to learning through understanding • the capacity to separate the key ideas from the less significant • the ability to link a geometrical representation with an analytic representation • the ability to translate verbal problems into mathematical problems • the ability to recognize a valid proof and detect 'sloppy' thinking • the ability to recognize mathematical patterns • the ability to move back and forth between the geometrical (graph) and the analytical (equation) • improving mathematical intuition by abandoning naive assumptions and developing a more critical attitude

    Let's convert these attributes from "mathematical maturity" to "enterprise maturity":

    • the capacity to specialize from a strategic plan to tactical objectives • the capacity to reconcile dovetailed narratives • the ability to communicate via standard social memes and acceptable social idioms • a significant shift from learning by memorization to learning amid actualization • the capacity to separate key objectives from the less significant • the ability to link an actionable plan to enterprise goals • the ability to translate verbal problems into actionable programs • the ability to recognize a viable enterpise, and conversely, to detect 'stupid' thinking • the ability to foresee problems and embrace opportunities • the ability to move back and forth between the abstract (mathematics) and the social (people) • improving enterprise intuition by abandoning naive assumptions and developing a more critical attitude

    We see that there's not much gap between mathematical maturity and enterprise maturity, is there?

    For CS to remain viable to the end of this (immensely challenging) 21st century---in particular, for the viable careers and family-supporting CS jobs to be created in the necessary quantity---that's (IMHO) the gap that needs bridging.

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  58. Is anyone aware of a postdoc position (besides the CI fellows) that have been made possible by stimulus funds?

    This is a hard question to answer, since it is difficult to tell exactly where funds come from. However, I recently hired a postdoc from money that I am pretty sure was stimulus money. (I was given the money without asking for it, that sounds like stimulus money to me.)

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  59. No-one comments on ongoing changes in IBM hiring practices?

    To the extent that there is no CS dialog on these issues ... then ... gosh ... isn't it a a reasonable "insight on future of the job market" that "CS jobs won't be created in the United States."

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  60. I'm perplexed by the general passivity and lack of creative enterprise ... perhaps folks perceive that this Cat and Girl strip said it all?

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  61. John, just about everybody here is a grad student or postdoc, and they all have been trained for jobs that do not exist. What do you expect them to do? They can and should look after themselves, but they cannot change the field. Professors, either senior or junior, who can change the field do not want to, since it is good for them to have lots of cheap postdocs who can't find jobs.

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  62. I would not encourage anyone to join IIT as a faculty. The salaries are pathetically low, the number and quality of PhD students is dismal and bureaucracy reigns supreme. On top of that, they admit 50% students from SC/ST/OBC categories not based on merit but based on their caste and class. Recently all the IIT professors were on strike (which is quite common in India) for increasing their salary. So you may have to beg with a bowl for more money.

    The bottom line is: Don't even think of joining IITs.

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  63. But IIT has also very good students and then some students who are not so good, just like US universities (except the good students at IITs are superstars). So the quality of students should not be a deterent.

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  64. "just about everybody here is a grad student or postdoc, and they all have been trained for jobs that do not exist. What do you expect them to do? They can and should look after themselves, but they cannot change the field. Professors, either senior or junior, who can change the field do not want to, since it is good for them to have lots of cheap postdocs who can't find jobs."

    I notice no one took a stab at addressing this concern. Why do we continue to train people for jobs that do not exist? Should any schools other than the top 10 to 20 even have PhD granting departments, if their graduates stand no chance of obtaining the job they trained decades for?

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