This is just a quick, fun update, an excuse to aggregate some data and display it in pretty charts for you. Good luck at the job fair, everyone! It looks like I will be at the GovLoop happy hour tomorrow after all, so look for a guy in a luchador mask ;)
The bar chart below is a Google Fusion Tables visualization of the absolute number of finalists year on year for the 10 top academic fields. That is, I took the ten academic fields that have produced the most PMF finalists in all the data years I have, then looked at each one in terms of how many finalists graduated with those degree fields in each year.
It's obvious from this that the single largest group of finalists have law degrees, and other two of the top three fields are International Affairs/Administration/Studies and Public Administration/Policy. I don't think there's anything here that you didn't already know.
I also did this with the ten schools that have produced the most PMF finalists from 2009-2011.
Again, we can see some pretty obvious things. First, four schools absolutely crush all of the others in terms of representation among finalists: George Washington, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard. Perhaps interestingly, the total number of finalists from these schools decrease in order of increasing distance from OPM (GW is right across the street from the OPM building, FYI).
These charts reinforce things we already know, or that we think we know. What about looking at the data a different way? After thinking about it, I tried sorting to see if there were any schools with finalists this year that didn't have any in 2009 or 2010. I came up with 57, and all but six of them fielded only 1 finalist this year. These are listed below.
I think there are some other ways I can explore this data, especially once it has all been completely loaded into my database for programmatic manipulation, aggregation, and such. As I get time and finish the imports, I will produce more of this.