According to a new report from the Linguistic Society of America, there has been an increase in awarded Bachelor's degrees in Linguistics but the number of awarded Master's degrees and PhDs remains constant.

The 2017 Annual Report on the State of Linguistics in Higher Education provides data and information on careers in linguistics, trends in linguistic teaching positions, gender and ethnicity breakdowns within linguistics, and topics of specialization in linguistics programs, among other areas. The Annual Report, the fifth to be released by the LSA, features data provided by linguistics departments and programs throughout North America, federal government surveys, the American Academy, the LSA's internal membership directory, data on gender collected by the LSA's Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics (COSWL), and new data on LGBTQ+ identities in the discipline of Linguistics. 

Highlights from the report include:

  • For the first time, longitudinal data is available from the past five years of Annual Reports, presenting data from 2013 to 2017. Each section of the report is now supplemented with charts and graphs representing half a decade of LSA data collection and analysis.
  • A career in higher education continues to be the most popular professional outcome for PhD holders in Linguistics. There are still a significant number of linguists pursuing careers in industry, government, and K-14 education after obtaining their doctorates. Outside of academia, Business/Industry surpassed Non-Profit Organizations as the leading non-academic field for Linguistic PhDs.
  • Since 2013, women hold more positions on avergae in each department than men. However, men consistently hold more Associate, Assistant, and Full Professor positions on average than women.
  • In 2017, there was an increase in the number of BAs awarded by programs with a Bachelor's as the highest degree offered in Linguistics but a decrease in the number of BA's awarded by programs with MAs and PhDs as their highest degree offered. Master's degree and PhD production remained consistent with previous years.
  • In contrast with 2015 NSF data which showed a decrease in women being awarded PhD's in Linguistics, 2017 LSA data shows an increase in women PhD recipients. 
  • For the first time, the LSA has published data on sexuality and gender identity among linguists, providing a more intersectional breakdown of LSA membership diversity.

    The 2017 Annual Report was compiled by LSA Intern, Tyler Kibbey, and overseen by LSA Executive Director Alyson Reed. The current report and previous reports are also available on the LSA website.

    For the 2017 Report, there was a decrease in the number of departments reporting on faculty and gender over the previous year (likely because new COSWL survey data was presented in 2016, but not this year), but an increase in the total number of institutions providing any data. To improve the quality of our data for future Annual Reports, the LSA encourages all LSA members to update their member profile (available upon login) and for all linguistics programs to do the same in the LSA Directory of Linguistics Departments and Programs. Thanks to all members who help us continue to study and report on ongoing trends within linguistics.