Sunday, December 5, 2010

Terrific PhD Student Placement in Management Science from the Isenberg School

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in a recent article: Master's in English: Will Mow Lawns, that most graduate programs don't say where graduates get jobs, and future Ph.D.s don't demand the data.

I would beg to differ regarding that statement since it does not apply to a doctoral program that I am deeply involved in.

I have served as the coordinator of the Management Science concentration of the PhD program in Business Administration at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst for many years and follow the careers of many of its graduates closely.

Throughout the year I receive inquiries from prospective applicants about our program and many of the applicants specifically ask about placement of our doctoral students. They want to know where our recent graduates have received jobs -- did they go to academia or industry and inquire even as the level of research university that our PhDs have obtained positions at. Prospective applicants also often ask as to the average length of time to receive the PhD in our program, the number of students that we admit each year, and the size of the financial package (and its duration).

Perhaps, since this doctoral program resides in a School of Management, our potential applicants may be more savvy and analytical when it comes to the outlay of time and effort that matriculation into a doctoral program entails and they want to be able to assess the potential benefits (and I am not just speaking of the deep sense of satisfaction that working on important research problems gives). Entering a doctoral program requires a big investment of personal resources in terms of time and effort but the payoffs can be truly spectacular.

Plus, earning a PhD is an achievement that noone can take away from you!

Now, for the data as to where our PhD students have been "placed." Our most recent graduates in the past 6 years have had as their "first" placements positions at: the University of Connecticut, the University of Sydney, McGill University, the University of Memphis, Texas A&M University, Texas Wesleyan University, University of Alabama, Holy Cross College, the University of Idaho, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Pennsylvania State University at Malvern, and Pennsylvania State University at Hazleton, and Price Waterhouse.

I am extremely proud of our PhD students and the above list is only for the Management Science concentration! For additional placements, click here.

I might add -- and this also signifies the success of our graduates and our doctoral program -- that "second" placements matter, as well. In one's professional career, one may be faced with the "two body" problem in that one may wish to relocate closer to a spouse's or partner's position (or to be closer to a location for family reasons). Hence, being able to find a second position, is also a measure of success (and shows that one's professional trajectory is going in an upward direction).

Among the list of first placements above, I note that one has now moved to Central Washington University and another to the University of Washington at Bothell. Plus, yet another has moved to York University. All of these positions are for tenure-track Assistant Professorships.

I also would like to emphasize that one of our PhD graduates received tenure in three years and another an offer of a Full Professorship within three years of receiving her PhD (which she has accepted)! Since these two were my PhD students and they also serve as Center Associates of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks I could not be prouder. Dr. Dmytro Matsypura holds a tenured position at a top research university, the University of Sydney in Australia, and Dr. Tina Wakolbinger, will be moving from the Fogelman College of Economics and Business at the University of Memphis to a Full Professorship at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration as of this coming May. There she will have funding for 4 PhD students and her dream job!

Of course, a doctoral program is only as good as the students that it attracts, the faculty that work closely with the students, and the curriculum. The faculty in our program are leaders in their field and the courses that we offer our students prepare them deeply in terms of methodology and applications. For a list of faculty in all of our doctoral program concentrations, click here. Plus, all of our doctoral students are required to teach (typically, for two semesters) an undergraduate course for our Operations Management program. This experience clearly enhances their job prospects.

In addition, we provide numerous leadership opportunities for our students through, for example, the UMass Amherst INFORMS Student Chapter, which has garnered 4 national awards in the past 4 years for its various activities.