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Hiring and Placement in the iSchools

A growing body of literature examines trends in department prestige, graduate employment, and faculty hiring in academic fields such as communication, computer science, economics, higher education administration, and political science. Until recently, we had no similar empirical literature about the relative prestige or reputations of information graduate programs. Emilee Rader (now at Michigan State) and I collected data about graduate placement and faculty hiring in iSchools between 2004 and 2010, and using that data, developed two ranking mechanisms for information graduate programs.

In summary, our data indicate that

  • 14% of iSchool graduates are placed in tenure-track positions at iSchools
  • 40% of iSchool graduates are placed outside academia
  • Less than 50% of the tenure-track faculty hired by iSchools graduated from iSchools

Both mechanisms, placement rank and eigenvector centrality, are based on the position of schools within the network of hires and graduates. Placement rank (PR) is based on the raw number of iSchool graduates who were placed in other iSchools. iSchools that place many grads in other iSchools will have high PR. Eigenvector centrality (EC) is similar to placement rank in that a school’s EC depends upon whether its graduates are hired by other iSchools. However, EC also considers the network position of the schools doing the hiring; for instance, if School A’s graduates get hired by highly-ranked School B, then School A’s EC will increase.

These ranking systems help satisfy our natural curiosity about where institutions stand in relation to one another but also provide (1) measures of the quality of graduate education in iSchools and (2) data to inform the iSchool identity discussion.

School

Placement rank

EC Rank

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)

1

3

Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech)

2

2

University of California at Irvine (UCI)

3

1

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

3

8

University of Washington (UW)

5

4

University of California at Berkeley (UCB)

5

5

University of Michigan (UMich)

5

6

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

5

10

Syracuse University (Syracuse)

5

12

The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)

10

9

University of Texas at Austin (UTA)

10

13

Indiana University — SLIS (IU)

10

14

Drexel University (Drexel)

13

7

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

13

11

Florida State University (FSU)

13

15

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)

16

15

University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

17

17

University of North Texas (UNC)

17

17

University of Toronto (UT)

17

17

Table 1. iSchools Ranked by Graduate Placement


So, what do you think ?

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