This report presents a two-part analysis of Planning PhD programs and the Planning academy job market during the 2017-2018 academic year. The study was motivated by two descriptive research questions:
1. What does the Planning academy job market look like, and how much does it change from year to year?
2. Approximately how many PhDs graduate each year and where do they go?
Through the spring and summer of 2018, PhD program directors/coordinators (or other relevant members if a coordinator could not be identified or reached) were surveyed in 63 academic departments throughout the United States. Respondents provided information about the number of graduates, graduate placement at academic institutions, program specializations, publishing requirements for students, and the teaching opportunities available during PhD programs.
The survey results are paired with data about the academic job market in Planning, gathered from ACSP emails and the ACSP online job postings from August 2017-July 2018. While the job market data is publicly available, it has not been tracked historically and is not available historically from ACSP. The database was designed to track not only the number of positions by rank, but also by specialization, location, and by other features. Both the survey and the job postings database are designed to continue over a five-year period.
An analysis of these data reveals a competitive academic job market in Planning, with more graduates than positions, and with graduates holding both teaching and research experience. The popularity of specialization varies across program offerings and the job market, although both favor Environmental and Sustainability Planning and Transportation, Land Use and Urban Design. This report presents the data collection methods; results; shortcomings of the research; and a conclusion. Results are presented in three sub-sections: number of graduates and job openings; specializations; and graduates’ teaching and research experience.