Enough people have sent me this beautifully depressing picture that I figured I’d put it up here for posterity. It would be nice to see it broken up into field – this figure is for science and engineering, but science and engineering tend to have very different career paths! My friends who have PhDs in biology are much more likely to try the academic route than my friends in bioengineering, for instance, and physics and chemistry seem to have more post-PhD career options than biologists (in my experience).
I also wonder how this varies with university; I know in Economics (and the humanities) that you’re much, much, much more likely to get a faculty position if you come from Harvard than if you came from, say, State University. I at one point went through a random list of neuroscience professors at top universities and found that a majority of the professors had come from the same few schools – which, sadly, did not include my own.
As a theorist, I only use fake data. Apparently in Physics you sometime get given fake data to see what you do with it, going so far as to not tell you until you’re about to submit a paper; I think if this happened to me I’d cry.