Prospects of young professionals in the academic labor market: Global comparison and assessment

Martin Finkelstein, Kevin W. Iglesias, Anna Panova, Maria Yudkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We offer an analytical model to assess prospects for young faculty based on an analysis of conditions and opportunities of PhD graduates entering the academic market in ten countries: Brazil, China, India, France, Germany, Norway, Russia, Portugal, the Republic of South Africa, and the United States. We have singled out four indicators of demand: a) student enrollment growth rate; b) expenses for research and development and for education; c) the age and rank distribution of current faculty in accordance with national retirement policies; and d) development of technology, emergence of new learning models, and the extent to which these models involve students and faculty. Fundamental factors affecting the supply include: 1) the national system's reliance on PhD production, and 2) status of post-graduate programs: whether they are the first step in academic career or only a preparatory phase. We have assessed efficiency of faculty recruitment based on openness of search and screening processes and the relative competition for new positions. We have found that the size of national systems in terms of students and staff has expanded considerably, while their proportion in national economies of the countries has remained almost the same. Demand driven by growth is relatively low in Europe, being constrained by ever lower accessibility of entry-level positions and by the job conditions offered there. Most countries - all except China and South Africa - tend to recruit faculty from newly degree graduates. Supply of PhDs (either native or foreign) is quite favorable, mostly due to female academics. The best part of the ten systems that we have analyzed stick to open competition principles when hiring faculty, but at least three systems (Russia, China, and India) apply a less open and competitive approach at all levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-43
Number of pages24
JournalVoprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic degrees
  • Academic labor market
  • Demand for young faculty
  • International comparative studies
  • Post-graduate education
  • Supply of young faculty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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