Jeff Huang posted a bunch of computer science professor hiring statistics on his site. Unlike the statistics I gathered previously (see this post and this one), he had his students use crowdsourcing so he has a much larger database consisting of over 2000 professors at 51 top US universities. Consistent with my earlier analysis of who UCSD invites for interviews, he found that where a person does their PhD has a huge influence over the likelihood that she ends up as a professor, with over 20% of computer science professors having graduated from MIT, UC Berkeley, or Stanford. This is probably due to many factors, including:
- The more productive students are more likely to end up at these schools.
- At these schools you gain connections with especially famous professors that have already had many former students become professors, enabling a large network.
- Great school name recognition.
This isn’t to say that you must graduate from one of these universities to become a professor. I’ve had several friends and colleagues at UCSD become professors, although only a couple of them at top institutions (and most did postdocs). That said, if you really want to be a professor and are applying to PhD programs, I think going to one of these schools can increase the likelihood that you will be successful in your quest (it still won’t be easy).