Monday, August 1, 2011

A Better Job Market This Fall?

In a discussion over at Leiter that never really took off, it was pointed out that this article at Inside Higher Ed suggests that the job market in political science seems to be rebounding a little, and wondered whether that's good news for philosophy.

I think it is wisest to maintain an "I'll believe it when I see it" approach to this sort of thing. It seems to me that we've had moderately good news about the economy over the past several years (or, at least, less bad economic news) that has failed to materialize as substantial gains in tenure-track philosophy job market.

Another thing that the political science data highlights is that it would be nice if the APA would keep detailed job-market statistics. It would be nice to know what's happening in the job market from year to year. As it is, you have to count entries in the JFP and on the Leiter jobs thread.

--Mr. Zero

9 comments:

Christopher Hitchcock said...

In the past, when the APA has kept statistics, they have been virtually meaningless. They counted the number of ads in all of the JFP's, making no effort to figure out which were multiple ads for the same position. (E.g., many departments advertise in both the October and November JFP.) Then they would add up the number of job-seekers that registered at all of the APA meetings, again making no effort to account for repeats. It seems we ought to get better from our professional organization.

Anonymous said...

Tracking year-to-year fits and starts in the philosophy job market is a mug’s game. The real issue is that, for both public and private colleges, the business model is broken. Every year public universities will get less from the states, and no one believes that the private colleges will be able to continue tuition raises in excess of inflation. So how are improvements—new faculty positions, decent raises, professional support—going to be financed? Given the quite real possibility of another recession, and given the huge growth in non-academic positions and programs within the university, it’s the academic side of things that’s going to get squeezed, and squeezed hard. Plus the cultural climate of the country has turned against the academy: can you see our new Republican masters worrying about the decline in the humanities? I can’t.

Until we figure out a new way to fund higher education in the US, and that probably depends upon a major shift in public attitudes, the outlook for academic jobs is going to be bleak, whatever the short-term fluctuations.

Anonymous said...

What's significant about the article in Inside Higher Education is that it indicates that jobs are becoming more numerous in P. Science. This means that political science departments are hiring, and this is because university provost offices have given them the go-ahead to do this. So I would think this is a good sign, because hiring decisions are made above the department level and this tells us something about how universities are thinking. We'll have to wait and see how this affects philosophy hiring specifically, but, if universities are hiring more, that's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

On the new APA website, there are some links (under the profession section) to statistics for JFP stats, candidates per Job Advertised Statistics (1982-2001), and a report on placement services, etc.

none of these links work right now

Anonymous said...

Some anecdotal:
My department got the go ahead to hire this year on a new non-replacement budget line. But we are a mixed department, combining two disciplines (small state school); so no promise it will be in philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the new APA website, is there any word when the JFP will be back online?

Anonymous said...

The PoliSci numbers listed in the IHE article are for 2010-2011. Was there a corresponding increase in philosophy jobs last year? I don't think so, though the situation for select AOSs seemed better than 2009-10.

I have yet to hear a good reason to think the philosophy job market will improve this year. To be honest, I expect it to be worse. The stimulus money has run out, the one-year extension of unemployment insurance ends this year, cuts to education are part of the new debt limit deal, and the federal govt. has done next to nothing to address unemployment. I see no reason for optimism.

KateNorlock said...

Yes, I was one of the two commenters at Leiter, and in my experience so far, the states' well-being correlates depressingly well with university hirings in the public sector. As you can see from the page I linked to, states are likely to recover some well-being in two years, but not in one:

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=711

Anonymous said...

Oops...looks like we'll have to wait another two years for a better job market!