I have almost completed my Ph.D. in applied mathematics at a highly ranked private U.S. college. I am an older student with almost a decade of industrial work experience between undergrad and grad school, and so I would prefer not to go through a postdoc before I can get my teaching career into motion. As for publications, I have two (maybe three by the time I graduate) first-author papers. I have some teaching experience as a TA in the first couple of years, and I also taught my own course here last semester. My career interests mostly lie in the form of teaching, but I would also like to conduct some good research.

I have observed hiring trends and it appears as though it is impossible nowadays (without a postdoc) to get a tenure-track position at any college of higher rank than the place you got your Ph.D. (The rank doesn’t matter that much to me, but I understand the correlation between such rankings and the quality of research (and research funding) that will be available to the assistant professor). The alumni from my program, who are in tenure-track positions, are all in lower-ranked colleges – except for one holding a postdoc position in a college of similar rank.

Would you say I probably have to choose between doing a postdoc at a higher-ranked school (then apply for TT jobs at such higher-ranked schools) or simply return to industry?

I have been promoted to Research Scientist at the (highly ranked in engineering) Ivy League at which I was a engineering postdoc. I have also been offered an Assistant Professorship at the state school from which I received my Masters and PhD, in the (low/not ranked) engineering dept in which I did that Masters. Both sides have provided good offers. The Ivy League has additionally suggested that if I take the professorship I could stay on in a 20% role and continue my present research. The state school seems amenable to this arrangement, and has added that it would allow both my previous time in this postdoc toward tenure, and treat the ongoing 20% as a tenure-admissible external collaboration.

Within my network, I cannot find a single person with this kind of arrangement. Is join appointment where both the ranking of the institutions and the appointment type mismatch an uncommon thing? Pointed questions:

  • Is going to a different school within my PhD university a poor career decision, in terms of future positions? I know staying in your program is bad, but this seems a grey area.
    • Why not both? What might be the unanticipated issues of joint appointment at different ranks? Travel here seems not an issue: I plan to spent the majority of my time at the state institution while directing my other team remotely and visiting bimontly.
    • What advantages might I poorly understand? For example, is it generally permissible to write for money from two institutions, in effect to be your own subcontractor?
    • If I attempt to leave after tenure for a higher ranked school, how will the time at each institution likely be viewed? Will the Research Scientist role even be considered? Worse, will it be fairly necessary for such a move, such that I dare not let it end?
    • How can I frame my ivy league project as an external collaboration, such that it not be seen as a complication for my tenure? Any other political considerations?

this is my question and it would be appreciated if you could provide your opinions.

I am now a first-year direct-PhD student (i.e., without an MS degree) at a public flagship university in the south, engineering subject. I obtained my bachelor degree from a top university in Asia, ranking top 20 in my field over the world. I have published/co-authored 7 journal papers (IF > 4) and 3 peer-reviewed conference papers, so I guess I am “distinguished” (pardon me if it makes me seem arrogant) among peers considering that it’s the first year of my graduate study.Bearing any unforeseen circumstances, I will publish/co-author 20 journal papers (IF > 4) by the time I graduate.

I always want to pursue a faculty position in the top 30 universities in the US, e.g., UT Austin, U Maryland or UIUC, or some better ones like HYPSM. But somebody told me that it’s nearly impossible for the Ph.D. from low-ranking universities (my uni ranks 80-100 nationally) to apply for the positions in top 30 universities. They only hire people from the universities which are equivalent in ranking however excellent you are. So, is that true? Is it possible if I apply for a second PhD program after graduation (MIT, Stanford, Berkeley,etc.)? And if possible, does it help?

Thanks so much!

I recently read this article analyzing the top five journals in economics using bibliometrics. I was very interested, and as I’m a PhD student who wants to start publishing, I thought a good project might be to repeat this type of analysis myself but for statistics journals, as part of getting a sense of what is going on now in statistics. The authors of the linked study managed to cite papers of surveys of economists asking them what the top journals in their field are, but I have found as much a resource for statistics.

First, I’d like to know what people here perceive the top five statistics journals to be (or even if five is a bad number and I should expand it). Right now my list is the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B (JRSB), Journal of the American Statistical Association (JASA), *Annals of Statistic (AoS), Journal of Statistical Software (JSS), and Biostatistics (Bios).

My next question would be whether it’s even acceptable to make a “top 5” list for statistics. While the authors of the linked paper did so for economics, it seems like statistics is more subdivided, so I should purposefully expand my list to include more domain focused journals even if they are not ranking highly on general surveys.

I had a hard time deciphering conference and journal rankings in order to find good places to publish. [Disclaimer – I am a computing PhD and this post is intended to have a strong focus in CS]

I think it would be beneficial to have a list of websites which rank conferences and journals (deffo. for my self and maybe others too). My question is, could you all help me build this list?



Other posts readers might be interested in:

I am planning to submit for a conference that organized by the (World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, & Applied Computing https://americancse.org/events/csce2018) located and held every year in the US. Looking at their invited speakers over the last 10 years, they managed to attract many top scientists from NASA, SAP, Google…etc

The conference that I am planning to submit my work for named The 20th Int'l Conf on Artificial Intelligence (ICAI'18) and ranked-B according to Qualis. After I checked the dblp database, I noticed that they stoped indexing the Congress proceeding on their website. Do that indicate or reflect any bad signs?

I have two very good admission offers from good universities in the US, and I am having a hard time choosing between them. So much that I am starting to consider less relevant factors, such as the position of the department in the different rankings. I believe that the ranking from the US News and World Report is the most prestigious one. However, they only show the top-10 departments on my field. I would need to pay 30 USD to see the full ranking. Is it worth it?

I am wondering what are the most well-regarded rankings of computer science departments in the US. Preferably, this would be broken down into rankings by research output and rankings by student labor market outcomes.

Surely, one can find a myriad of such rankings by google searching, but I am wondering whether there are some common rankings that are referred to as standards by academics and practitioners. Thank you kindly.


Let me clarify. Most answers below answered the question “are academic rankings useful/unbiased/etc.” but this is not at all what I was asking. I know that such measures are noisy and subjective. This is well-known. But in every profession there are some rankings that are well-regarded among other researchers in that profession.

Please, I know it’s hard, but try to stop yourself from answering why rankings suck, even if you feel very strongly about it.

I am involved in a peculiar PhD situation. I am working full time at a government lab that is fairly new (<10 years of existence), but has however attracted some strong names in my field (Computer Science and Data Management) as appointed researchers. Government labs do not issue PhDs, so I had to enroll at a university. The university that I enrolled at (not my choice) is among the top 10 in my country, but lies in the top ~1000 area worldwide. Furthermore, my advisor is not really involved in my work and is generally active in somewhat different research directions. However, I had very good funding so I decided to treat this as exactly what it is, i.e., a formality, as I can’t get my PhD from the government lab.

During the past four years, I have been very productive and managed to create a solid publication record at A-level and A*-level conferences and journals, as well as a decent citation count (~150). I am first author in most of my papers, and some of the people I worked and published with are very established and acclaimed academics in this field.

Before starting my PhD, a obtained an Electrical Engineering degree and a Masters degree from top schools in worldwide rankings. Now my question is, do I need to somehow reflect this situation in the form of a justification of why I am getting my PhD from an unknown university? Or the fact that after two excellent school names, I have this third name in my CV that is unknown and overall a weird addition?