While comparing across years seems fun and all. Why don't we think of this as an additive project?
Over the past two years, in sum, who places best?
It was said earlier in the thread:
Top placers: NYU, Michigan, Berkeley, Wisconsin, Brown
Hit/miss: Duke, Harvard, Princeton, Arizona, Columbia
Underperformers: Penn, Cornell, Stanford, Northwestern, Chicago
I would add UT-Austin to the top placers list. They placed considerably above their rank both years.
UT-Austin has strong placements, better than a lot of top 10 departments, including Penn and Chicago.
They place better than Stanford, too.
To be fair, that's a low bar, given their abysmal placement. lol
Depends whether you're talking about placing at all or placing well. For top 20 placement, Stanford is better
Not true. UT-Austin has placed better than Stanford in the last several years any way you slice it.
Last few years Stanford has placed at UNC-Chapel Hill, Washington University, Chicago's Booth School, Columbia Business School, and another at UNC-Chapel Hill. That looks like better top level placement than UT based on the links above.
That's two top 20 placements in 5 years...
Yeah, that's pretty pathetic for a supposedly top 5 department. NYU did better in one year than Stanford did in 5...
Stanford is a placement dud. The epitome of overrated. By any measure it should not be top 5, let alone top 10.
Yeah, before I knew much about sociology I had a buddy that chose UCLA over Stanford a few years ago and I thought he was making a mistake. I mean, knowing nothing about sociology, I knew Stanford was a hugely prestigious school. Little did I know they actually can't place well relative to their ranking.
I'm in a similar situation where I will likely pass on a school that is far more prestigious and a department that is higher ranked for another one that isn't as much, but that has placed much better over several years. At the end of the day, a job is more important to me than "bragging rights" at Thanksgiving with family members that know nothing about the field and only care about general school prestige.
Make sure that's an objectively big difference in placement that is actually associated with your location in the program (you areas, your likely committee). Otherwise you are generally better off going with the higher ranked department. And definitely ignore the jibber jabber here about over and under placing. Reliable patterns of placement over a period of years is relevant to prospective decision making, but not whether that placement is better or worse than expected by SJMR posters. It won't help you at all that a 20th ranked department with the same placement record as a 5th ranked department is over placing relative to rank. All things being equal, you'd be better off at the higher ranked place.
I don't think it's jibber jabber at all. I agree with most of the factual things said in this thread. Both departments are good fits, one is in an elite school, the other is in a fine top school. I've done both visits. I've looked at years of their placement at visits and online. This thread matches that pretty well actually. I frankly prefer these factual threads on placement as resources than the opinions of random strangers in the forum in other prospective student threads. A lot of people are just trolling and badmouthing departments that do well. But, if their departments place badly, I can easily find out and know if the negative talk about them is legitimate (in Stanford's case it is and then some). Thanks in large part to this forum and people who named names I got a pretty good sense of the most recent placement trends, too. The stars thread was a huge help. Best thing to happen to this forum ever. This thread was pretty good at piecing it all together for this year and last. Thanks to the posters who have done this thread and the stars one. As a nervous prospective student, I really appreciated it the super useful information.
I would say the same thing. Thank you to the people who made these fact-based threads on placement and to the people who named names. This information is very important as we are making important life decisions. The transparency this brings is so key for us prospectives. Again, thank you all so much!