Friday, January 30, 2009

Your command is my command

In comments, Phallusophy raises the following question, and was seconded by several anons:
How many fewer people apply to jobs outside the US/Canada? Why do fewer people apply to these jobs? If that has something to do with expectations about being able to come back, what are those expectations? And, finally, are those expectations accurate—are people who teach overseas not usually able to come back?
For my own part, I apply selectively outside the US and Canada. There are a few places outside North America I can imagine I wouldn't mind living. However, I'm not at all sure I'd be happy living in Cairo or Dubai, even for a year. Not to mention what a pain in the ass it would be to move there and back.

Comments? Typographical corrections? Let 'er rip.

--Mr Zero

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

One reason could be that many times jobs in certain countries are advertised as a formality only and they have no intention of hiring anyone other than the person selected before the ad even runs. Of course, this would only have an effect on the number of people applying if they know this.

g said...

Thank you for picking up this thread.

I think it is a different case for short- and long-term overseas jobs. It is a great hassle to move away for one year. Arguably, not much more so than moving within the US, but for someone who has never lived anywhere else it may seem so.

But the big question, to me, is Phallusophy's last question - are foreign TT jobs considered Siberia? Do people who take jobs in e.g. Germany, Holland, Israel, Hong Kong, Singapore (just a few things that have been circulating recently, and are within the same larger academic community still) effectively take themselves out of the pool foerever? Is that the case, and if so, why?

(And I am leaving out the question of where people would feel comfortable living, since people have such considerations within the US, and yes, many Americans would not feel comfortable living abroad, we know that. And for reasons pointed out by the female anon on the previous thread, Dubai and such may not be a place for everyone (I too am a woman, and would never consider it. I would, however, consider many other countries)).

Anonymous said...

what about people who take jobs in siberia?

Anonymous said...

I was offered a position in Kuwait. The salary was amazing, and all tax-free. What stopped me from signing on the dotted line is that they have segregated classrooms (male/female) and I have qualms with segregation for the sake of preserving the power structures of patriarchy.

Anonymous said...

I have been told that it is almost impossible for an American to get a job in Canada because the Canadian law requires schools to hire any qualified Canadian first.

Anonymous said...

Don't you mean, "Your wish is my command"?

Or maybe I'm the only one who watched Battlestar Galactica as a child...

missamerica said...

But the big question, to me, is Phallusophy's last question - are foreign TT jobs considered Siberia?

I think this is part of the issue and propose calling this 'the Siberia Factor'. As is often the case, how the Siberia Factor affects one's chances for a TT job in the U.S. may depend on whether one's angling for a research or a teaching job. This is rather speculative, but,...if you're looking for a good TT job at a SLAC, I can imagine some administrators being concerned about your ability to teach their students given that you've been off teaching in a foreign university system with which they're unfamiliar. And this might actually be a legitimate concern if all, or even most, of your teaching experience has occurred in foreign contexts which value teaching even less than most of the grad programs on the Leiter Report. If that's right, then it might be wise to establish one's teaching credentials in the U.S. before taking a job outside the U.S.

If you're angling for a research job, the only drawback which comes to mind would perhaps be the logistical obstacles of attending certain conferences, depending on your AOS. If, however, quality of publications trump both conference presentations and networking, then there may not be much of a disadvantage to taking a non-prestigious job outside the U.S.

Akratic Irishman said...

Are places in Britain, Ireland, Australia, etc. not considered serious places to do philosophy? I have a hard time understanding why someone who completed a good philosophy PhD in the U.S. would not consider applying to Oxford, St. Andrews, ANU, etc. (barring personal considerations, of course, like a spouse's employment situation, etc.).

I taught in Ireland for a number of years and it did not seem to have any adverse affect on my ability to return to North America.

As for this: "I have been told that it is almost impossible for an American to get a job in Canada because the Canadian law requires schools to hire any qualified Canadian first."

Then you have been told something false -- at least for top Canadian philosophy departments. There are many excellent American philosophers working at the University of Toronto, for instance (indeed, I'd be hard pressed to think of any Canadian hires there in recent years, although I haven't really been playing close attention).

Anonymous said...

no one I know of is worried about the "siberia effect" with respect to Britain, Ireland, or Australia. (Maybe I remembering incorrectly, but I thought this was explicitly pointed out in the earlier thread.)

squid said...

Not true about the Canadian positions -- they can and do hire Americans, although they are supposed to give preference to qualified Canadians.

For me, it was a matter of moving myself and my family (and cats) to a foreign country. And my spouse having to leave his job. That pretty much put the kibosh on it for me. But otherwise, I'd almost kill for a fellowship at Oxford. But there are plenty of countries I'd never consider for reasons of language, culture, safety (real or perceived), etc.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Siberia....anyone know anything about the Minnesota State, Moorhead job?

Anonymous said...

Akratic Irishman: I don't really think anyone's suggesting that if somewhere like Oxford hires you, that impedes your chances of a good job in the US - If I recall correctly, the original context in which this discussion came up excluded Australia and the UK, which seems about right. If your country features in the Leiter report, you're probably OK...

As for the Canadian hiring question, as far as I'm aware, the US, UK and Canada all require that you show that there are no equally qualified nationals to do the job before asking for a visa for a foreigner. Usually this can be established by doing a wide enough search, and defending your reasons for hiring the best candidate. I think that Canada's restrictions are a little stricter than the others, because you do hear about job ads being very carefully crafted in certain circumstances, but, clearly, canadian Universities, like others, find their way round the law.

Glaucon said...

Anon 9:17 -- I'm not sure about the Minneosta State - Moorhead job, but I know that Moorhead is Bunny Lebowski's hometown, which has got to count for something. Plus, I hear the lutefisk there is really good.

Anonymous Canadian said...

While Canadian universities can get around the 'canadian first' requirement as easily as anyone, if they're worried about retention, they're more likely to hire a Canadian than an American since the Canadian is perceived as more likely to stay. This might not be true of Toronto, McGill or UBC, but it's certainly true for the big provincial universities and what Canadian SLACs there are.

Larry said...

Do you guys think that the job market oversseas tend to look at the econimic infrastructure as a whole when applying for positions. I am an undergraduate majoring in Philosophy so I am trying to get some insight to what the job market may hold for the future. Would it be wise to stick it out here in the U.S?