Master's in English: Will Mow Lawns

Most programs don't say where graduates get jobs, and future Ph.D.'s don't demand the data

Job Placement: The Quality Measure That Graduate Programs Shun 1

Lyle Stafford for The Chronicle

James Mulvey, who has a master's degree in English, abandoned his lifelong dream of getting a Ph.D. and becoming an English professor after taking a hard look at the job market. He now works as a landscaper and a technical writer in British Columbia.

When a group of prospective graduate students visited the physics department at the University of Washington during a recruiting weekend last spring, they asked lots of questions about their lives as doctoral students. But none of them seemed very interested, the department's chairman says, in how recent Ph.D.'s fared after graduate school—on the job market.

"I don't think I ever encountered a question about that," says Blayne Heckel, the chairman. "These students want