I have the same question. Hope someone could give some remarks.
I've received an offer for a Canadian economics PhD program just outside of the top 2 UBC/UofT (a top 5 school). I also have a business PhD offer from another school which has a very high academic placement rate.
I like economics more than business, but because I really want to be in academia, I'm a bit scared to take the economics PhD offer since only UBC and UofT consistently place in academia.
The school which has offered me the Economics PhD program has placed some people at good academic positions, but there is also an equally large number of placements who go into government or industry.
Is going to a Canadian economics PhD outside the top 2 too risky if you want to place in academia? Any opinions, thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know much about Canadian programs, so unfortunately I can't give much specific help, but in general I would not hesitate to contact the departments with these sorts of questions. You might check, for example, whether placements in industry are placed there because that's where they wanted to be or because they could not place in academic programs. If they place some people well, and you really have a strong drive to end up in a good academic position, then you can bet on yourself and push hard to be one of those top placements.
It depends on the individual, but if it were me I don't think I would be happy in a business program, no matter how prestigious; if it's not what you want to do, then no ranking will make up for that.
In the end, the departments are there to help you. Reach out with your concerns, keep in mind that they have some sort of bias in their reply, and try to make a fully informed decision. Ideally, someone here will have some more directly applicable advice, but it's good to get used to tackling these types of questions head on.
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