Yeah, the information is fairly incomplete. But it's still better than nothing, and can still help us to speculate. Like, we have at least 81 placements in 1 year. If the percentage of success is indeed about 20%, then over 400 PhD candidates applied. If you take into consideration that Marketing PhD programs usually accept about 2 students a year, 400 applying a year sounds too high. And, as a consequence, 20% would be too low. It doesn't make sense to me, especially for a top school.
Also, every time you use industry standards for academia, you have to be extremely careful. Because things are often very, very different. Some examples:
- First, given how competitive the job market is, and the lack of information, PhD candidates can apply to a lot of places. We probably don't even know which universities are really planning to hire, and for what type of research area. In the corporate world, we usually apply when we know there is a job opening, and we have a much better idea if we fit the profile they need. Thatīs not the case in academia.
- Second, the interview process isn't comparable to anything I've seen in the corporate world. Interviews are made during an event of the American Marketing Association (AMA), even for universities outside of US, where schools and PhD candidates on the job market gather together. And then, each PhD candidate goes through a series of interviews with different universities, one after the other. And that's the main window of opportunity to get a job. If you miss that, things become a lot harder, and maybe you will have to wait 1 year for the next event. So, you have only a couple of days a year to take a shot, at a place where lots of universities are concentrated. PhD candidates will try to get as many interviews as they can on that limited period of time. You don't want to go to only a few interviews, and wait to see what happens. You want to maximize your chances. That also works for universities. They also know that the AMA event is the best shot they have to get the best new PhDs. So, they also don't want to interview a small number of candidates, they will often interview as many as they can during the event. For both PhD candidates and universities, the AMA event is a marathon of interviews. So, the number of interviews is often defined by how many interviews you can crunch during the event.
- Third, the interview is far from being the final stage before you get an offer. A lot will need to be done between the interview and the offer. There will be further interviews, travels to make, lots of negotiations.
- Fourth, in the corporate world, you can narrow it down to the job opportunities which are a very good fit for you. And, in that case, you are probably much more qualified than a lot of other candidates for that job. But in academia, a lot of PhD candidates from Consumer Behavior, for example, would be very close to each other if you look at their qualifications. In the corporate world, a lot of job applications they get are crap. In academia, probably all of those applying to a job have very good qualifications.
So, 2 offers to 14 interviews is probably a very good result for a PhD candidate.