The recent AHA meeting was the springboard for two articles on Inside Higher Ed to discuss employment and completion rates for history PhDs. (via HNN)

History PhDs:  In and Out” reports the results of a survey of completion rates for history doctoral programs.  After 10 years, about 59% of students on average have completed their degrees, whereas 26% have quit, 9% are still in progress, and the remaining folks are unaccounted for.  This looks pretty dismal to me, though a commenter on the article suggested that this means that history doctoral programs are difficult, which is good for everyone.   I’m imagining living like a grad student and miserably looking for funding for ten years and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

More Jobs, Fewer New PhDs” is warily optimistic about job prospects for history PhDs–especially if you’re in specific fields, like African history, where job openings are rising at a higher rate than PhDs are being produced.  This was the first year in ages where more t-t jobs were available than new PhDs graduated–which doesn’t take into account, however, the pool of folks who graduated a number of years ago and are still looking for jobs, taking adjunct and visiting positions in the meantime.  The article also discusses the ‘slave labor conditions’ (Gilda Lerner) of history adjuncts and the financial problems for grad students in general.  Recommended.

On the speculations front:  STS Rumormill, modelled on IR Rumormill, etc, is a new forum for folks in STS/HST/etc to talk about the job search in the anonymous haunts of the interweb. 

“rumors, innuendo, wild speculation and anecdotal data regarding academic jobs in Science & Technology Studies…”

There’s not much talk as yet; the most up-to-date info is on the academic job search wiki, on the HST page and the STS page (I don’t know why folks decided there had to be two, both with conflictinginformation, but there it is.  If the rumormill moderator wants to coordinate the info or make a tally table, that would be great!).  I’m not sure why I’m keeping up-to-date on this information, given that I am not now, nor probably will ever be, on the academic job market, but I’ll think of it as service to the fieldand list it on my cv under “Collaborative Editing.”