Why is there a shortage of quantitative psychologists if the job market is so terrible for other subfields? The APA pleads for new quantitative students, there are frequent articles calling for improved recruiting, PhD poaching, growth, etc. The job market demand looks high both in and outside of academia, but less than 100 quantitative Ph.Ds are earned every year! Why is this happening? Is the quantitative stuff just an unsexy branch of psych? Is high-level statistics too difficult? Given the very serious competition within other subfields, you pretty much have to be outstandingly intelligent to succeed in academia here regardless, so I can't imagine it's just too hard. What's the deal?
Date: 08 Feb 2011 07:29
Number of posts: 5
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I think part of it is that quant people- if what they are interested is the math and not the psych- can go to a lot of different fields to get their Ph.D.s…. And it's not necessary to earn a Ph.D. to get a high paying job in industry… there's just too much competition for people with quant interests.
Right, but what about the people who are interested in psych and also have math/stats ability?
I admit to being confused as to the quant recruits. Is it that they want people who study quant stuff (e.g., specialize in dyadic modeling or some technique) or is it that they want someone who is awesome at stats? The first seems like it might be rare (not too many mentors, no grant money in it, new, etc.) while the latter seems like it might be yet another responsibility that many may be reluctant to take on in addition to their own research, mentoring, committee work, and so on. Plus, being great at stats and teaching stats are two different things.
In the departments I have been involved with it seems like all the "quant" positions are just filled with either social or cognitive psychologists who have a secondary interest in mathematical modeling or other some specialized quantitative interest - like SEM, HLM, or meta analysis. I think that's part of it since a department should be more apt to hire candidates with quant expertise plus expertise in another field.