Political Science Education and the Profession

Started From The Bottom, Now We’re Here: Navigating the Job Market Without A “Top Tier” PhD



Being on the job market is one of the most precarious and daunting tasks one faces during their graduate career. Earning a PhD from outside a “top tier” program may add additional — albeit often unnecessary — stress. As an upcoming graduate of a non-top tier program, the challenges one faces can be dramatically different than others navigating the job market. Graduating from a top tier program is not a requisite for success. Both authors graduated from a non-top tier program and obtained tenure track jobs immediately, though at very different types of institutions. Thus, we offer first hand evidence and experience on what helped us be successful on the job market. This manuscript is part of Strategies for Navigating Graduate School and Beyond, a forthcoming volume for those interested in pursuing graduate education in political science (Fall 2022 publication).


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