Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The transition from information systems (IS) doctoral student to new faculty member is usually accompanied by a sense of satisfaction. The transition takes place on the heels of a significant investment of time, energy, and financial sacrifice for most students. While landing a new faculty position is generally viewed in itself as a huge achievement, new faculty members face plenty of challenges. The FIRST+ framework we present here details the key elements of transitioning from student to faculty and serves as a basis for sharing experiences among soon-to-be graduates and junior faculty members regarding this transition. This paper presents the FIRST+ framework, a panel discussion on the topic led by this paper’s authors at the 2013 Americas Conference on Information Systems in Chicago, and subsequent analysis of AACSB data on PhD degrees conferred and new faculty hires in IS and other business disciplines. The analysis indicates that PhD graduates in all disciplines encountered a decrease in faculty job placement opportunities in 2009 and 2010, but that IS PhD graduates were especially hard hit. The good news for IS PhD graduates and challenge for faculty selection committees is that a resurgence in the job market has occurred since.