In which issues concerning the profession of philosophy are bitched about
Is the APA now only publishing the October JFP in a PDF format?
One positive note: not long ago it looked like the philosophy department at Howard University was about to get the axe. Now it has four (!) JFP ads for tenured/tenure-track positions. Anyone know the story behind this?
Anyone care to follow anon 10:27's suggestion? It would be helpful to me, since my membership application hasn't gone through. (By the way, are application forms available on the new web site? I can't find them.)
Well, my net loss this year in terms of total jobs to apply for is 13. However, there are more than twice as many in my area, so I think it's actually better this year.
Since the APA website could collaspe at any moment, here is a link to download the JFP 191:http://www.zshare.net/download/94817977fadfcb58/Happy Hunting!
I'm about half way through, and I suddenly realized that it's one big list: they've stopped separating the ads by region of the country. I kind of liked that, because it let you attack the big huge list in stages.Subjectively, it looks like a lot fewer open positions than normal and more in applied ethics than anything else.
I detect a great number of ads that say, "AOS Open, but the department would really shit themselves if you could do x, y, and z." I fucking hate that. Just make the AOS x, y, and z then.
@J. M. Tilley: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm applying for jobs for the first time this year, and I was wondering the use of applying for positions that advertise "AOS: Open, but the department has needs x,y, and z" such that I don't specialize in x, y, or z. Is applying pointless? I ask because, with said positions on my list, there are over forty jobs that I would pursue. Without said positions, my list is reduced to about 15.
What's up with #158? Instead of using the (misspelled) "Position Cancelled [sic]" watermark, why didn't they just delete the darn thing?
I'm quite excited, as there are six openings in my AOS, all in decent locations, and it's not a highly competetive area.
Anyone else notice this?"Special Note: Due to technical problems resulting from our recent transition to new administrativesoftware, we are unable to assure that all of the universities listed in this issue agree to abide by the APA’s nondiscrimination policy. If you have any concerns about this, please investigate the individualinstitutions’ policy before applying for a position."Nice, huh?
"I'm applying for jobs for the first time this year, and I was wondering the use of applying for positions that advertise "AOS: Open, but the department has needs x,y, and z" such that I don't specialize in x, y, or z. Is applying pointless? I ask because, with said positions on my list, there are over forty jobs that I would pursue. Without said positions, my list is reduced to about 15." You should definitely still apply to those jobs. I've had several friends end up in jobs for which they thought of themselves as "long shots". (They didn't just get offers--those are the jobs they ended up having, and liking.) The cost to you of applying is pretty small. The benefit of getting the job could be huge. In general, I think you *should* apply to jobs for which you are a stretch. Sure, it's annoying for the people reading applications, but the fact is sometimes those applications win out. PLUS, if it actually says "open" that it's not technically a "stretch".
I have the impression that less departments are asking for student evaluations this year. Is it because they will ask for them in a second round of interviews, or because they do not care about them any more?
0 ads for feminist philosophy that I can find in that thing. 0. In a field with a deplorable gender balance, this is outrageous.
12/10/11 08.29:'Cancelled' is not really misspelled. It's the British spelling. It's also the Canadian spelling, and both forms ('canceled' and 'cancelled') are acceptable in American spelling. Neither is more common than the other in American spelling.
@10:11am: I find 3 or 4, maybe more, that mention feminist philosophy in the ad. You need to look more carefully.
Type "feminist" in the search box and you'll find seven ads. You don't really have to do any reading to figure that out.
An open position where they offer you some hints as to what they, in their wildest dreams, hope for, if those are dreams you might fulfill, is worth applying to. If you're a superstar, from a superstar program, apply to all of them. Some schools advertise open/open jobs year after year (e.g. Cornell). They're on a fishing expedition. Unless you're Cornell material, don't waste your money.I've had several interviews where I thought I would be a longshot candidate, and after the interview, it was fairly clear to me that I was probably a diversity candidate. But any interview you get is an opportunity, so go for it.
Eh, I say err on the side of applying for open positions. It's pretty hard to tell whether or not you're "Cornell material" if you haven't been on the market before (especially if you don't have a giant ego). I didn't think I was, but I guess I was wrong. I sure am glad I shelled out the extra few bucks for an envelope, let me tell you.
Here's a question: What if your AOS is the AOC in the ad, and your AOC is the AOS in the ad? For instance, my AOS is Phil Mind, and my AOC is Ethics. What if the job ad says AOS Ethics, AOC Phil Mind? Do experienced smokers think it is still worth applying here?
0 ads for feminist philosophy that I can find in that thing. 0. In a field with a deplorable gender balance, this is outrageous.I agree with you about the gender imbalance problem. But one question: Is feminist philosophy your only AOS?When I think of people who work in feminist philosophy (e.g. Haslanger, Longino, Antony, Saul, Langton, etc.), they're all philosophers who have one or more substantial AOSs in another area (epistemology, phil sci, mind, language, pol phil, etc.). If you're writing a dissertation in feminist philosophy, you might want to consider expanding your project so as to eventually claim a second, more mainstream "AOS". That's a kind of entrepreneurial approach which I think would benefit feminist philosophy in the long run, at least with regard to the profession.
A personal highlight:"Position may remain open until filled." (#119)
Ooh ... I now notice the slightly bolder formulation:"The position will remain open until filled." (#143/144)
Yeah, I was counting the "open, but we'd like X, Y, and Z" as not really open. Of course, I'm in year n, n>>1, of the job search, so I have a good feel where I've got a shot and where I don't. If you're in year 1, 2, or 3 of your search, you definitely want to apply for ALL of those.I don't know why those seem to have supplanted the truly open positions. Maybe they want to leave room open for diversity hires if they can get them, but otherwise it's really a search for X, Y, or Z? (Not a bad strategy.) Or maybe the recession has affected competition for new faculty slots in odd ways?
I think the award for least competitive (in terms of who would actually fit the AOS and AOC) has to go to Bridgewater State, for their ad looking for an AOS in applied ethics and an AOC in medieval. I guess I should have wrote that dissertation on "Augustine and Aquinas on Whistleblowing" after all.
In my experience SC's will not give you the time of day unless your AOS matches the one they asked for. Runway looking for a specialist in the area, not someone with it as an AOC in the area. Sucks, I know, but I wouldn't waste your time.
Anon 12:19: Yes.
So the list is now alphabetical. That's really useful, since 80% of the names start with "University of..."I liked the old geographical sort. I notice a few jobs that are identical to offerings from last year. Should I feel worse that I was one of a pool of unacceptable candidates, or better that it wasn't just me -- they couldn't find anyone they liked?
I particularly enjoyed how West Virginia University has placed the additional hurdle of time travel on applying: "The deadline for applications is December 1, 2010." Cut & paste rules!
"I notice a few jobs that are identical to offerings from last year. Should I feel worse that I was one of a pool of unacceptable candidates, or better that it wasn't just me -- they couldn't find anyone they liked?"Zombie et al., What are your thoughts on reapplying for a job one applied for previously? There are a couple of jobs here that I applied for last year, but this time I have a PhD. I'm no glutton for punishment, but still curious ...
12:19 asks: "Here's a question: What if your AOS is the AOC in the ad, and your AOC is the AOS in the ad? For instance, my AOS is Phil Mind, and my AOC is Ethics. What if the job ad says AOS Ethics, AOC Phil Mind? Do experienced smokers think it is still worth applying here?"Good question. Apply. What this probably means is that the department really needs someone who can cover both areas, and that there is a slight to strong preference for someone with an AOS as stated. HOWEVER, if you are strong in the AOC and they also need someone in that AOC, it's possible that your strength in your AOC will meet the criteria of at least one or two others on the SC and the full faculty such that they feel comfortable voting for you.Hiring decisions are almost always tricky politics. What you need to do is win enough votes on the faculty to beat out the rest of the competition. All it usually takes is a simple majority.Second, FemFilosopher asks: "What are your thoughts on reapplying for a job one applied for previously? There are a couple of jobs here that I applied for last year, but this time I have a PhD. I'm no glutton for punishment, but still curious ..."Apply a second time. There's no telling why you didn't get the interview the first time. If anything has changed, it's likely only to help you. In your case, the PhD will do a lot of work. Having a few publications will help too.I think it a great misconception of the job application process that "not getting an interview" is tantamount to a "rejection." That's not how things work. Fact is, there are generally many very good and qualified applicants in any pool, whether it be for first-round interviews or on-campus fly-outs. In all likelihood a committee grappled with upwards of 30 possible finalists for the ten they chose to interview at the APA. You may well have been in that larger pile -- a favored candidate for one SC member, but perhaps not as high on the list of someone else. Since SCs change from year to year, there's no harm in throwing your hat in the ring again.
This is 10:11, who posted about feminist philosophy. To respond to a couple of folks:First, feminist philosophy is not my only AOS. There are actually quite a few (~50) jobs I'll be applying to.Second, feminist philosophy is mentioned in several ads. As AOCs or possible areas of interest. There are no ads for feminist philosophy as an AOS. That was what I was drawing attention to. The closest any ad comes is the Nevada-Reno ad in the web-onlies.
FemFilosofer: I applied three years in a row to the same school in a major US city where I happened to really, really, really want to work (Same school is running a few ads this year too -- they have a large faculty and always seem to have a few slots open). After two years of nuttin', last year I had an APA interview with them (though I didn't get the job). So, definitely worth applying. As noted, SCs change, and your status has improved.If you're not a glutton for punishment, what are you doing looking for a job in philosophy?
Please Help!I cannot find anyway to save the JFP issues.I cannot right click to save it as a file.When I view the listings, right click is still disabled, so I cannot copy and paste the listings into a Word document, for instance.Is there no way to save each JFP listings?Please help tell me how to save them.If there is no way to save them, is this not truly crazy / ridiculous? For instance, if I am going to apply to 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 jobs, does the APA really expect me to type out the mailing address into my mailing label program/template for every department that wants something through the paper mail? Disabling the right click function prevents me from copying the mailing address and pasting it into a mailing label program/template. This cannot be. There must be some way to save the JFP issues. Could someone please explain to me how to do it (assuming that you are explaining this to a six year old)?
After a few more seconds of thought, I realized that I could convert the whole webpage into a PDF file and save it that way. But what about people on the job market who do not have Adobe Acrobat, for instance?What would happen to me if I simply posted me real name here in the comments along with a link to my website and made the PDF file available on my website?Would the APA take legal action against me? Is there a single person who prefers the new website? Taking care to avoid sunk cost reasoning, why can't we petition the APA simply to throw out the new website and put the old one back up? Some company and/or server surely has a copy of the old website. If every single person prefers the old website, why has the APA not yet put it back up?What the hell is this lame move with stopping my right click functionality? Do they think no one will convert the webpage to PDF? Do they just want to make things a little more difficult for people?
Converting the JFP volume webpage to PDF does not work. It only preserves what appears on the screen (the actual document is much larger and requires much scrolling).Please forgive my ignorance and explain to me how to save the JFP volumes as any kind of computer file. Do I really have to login to this horrible website every time I want to view the JFP volume? Is there no way to save them? Please help me and explain how. Please.
I have posted the Volume 191 Web-Only Ads as a PDF here: http://ifile.it/1toyb5x/Volume 191 Web-Only Ads.pdfClick on the button marked "Request Download Ticket". That button will turn into a button marked "Download". Click that one, and you will get the PDF.(Ignore everything else on the page, including large and colorful buttons marked "Download"; "Request Download Ticket" is the one you want.)
re: saving to pdf. I'm not on the jfp page, so I'm not positive this will work - but if it displays the whole thing at once, this program might do the trick:http://www.dopdf.com/It's free, and it lets you print to pdf format (so you select "doPDF" as your printer, press go, and it then outputs a pdf file). It's a pretty reliable way to get pdfs of webpages.
JFP failed to print University of Chicago's jobsThe Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago will conduct two faculty searches in 2011-2012:Assistant Professor in Ethics, Tenure-track - http://tinyurl.com/3ttk2seAssistant Professor in the Philosophy of Science, Tenure-track - http://tinyurl.com/4396x7x
Anon 9:18-9:28 (assuming persistence of identity over time)Without knowing what kind of computer you have, or what software, not sure what the problem is. The JFP already is a pdf. You can save that as a pdf (unless you're running a really old version of windoze) . The web only ads are different. What I've always done with those is to copy the ads I was interested in and paste them into a blank word processing doc (using whatever program you have). From there, you can copy-paste again anywhere you like.
Anon 9:2x,This may not be very helpful, but right-click is not disabled for me on the Web ads. Maybe download a different browser, or a different computer? If you are talking about the PDFs, your browser should be saving them when you open them. I can also right-click and "save link as." I'm using Firefox on a PC with Windows 7.
Some of the oddities that have been noted here ("open but looking for x, y, z" or "open until filled") reflect bureaucratic restrictions from the university. E.g., if you find somebody you really want to hire outside x, y, z, a diversity office might veto the hire on the grounds that you went outside the published recruitment. E.g., if you can't find somebody you want on the first go-round and want to keep searching in your pool, "open until filled" gives you that flexibility. If you put in an expiration date on filling, you might have to go back to square one in advertising and recruiting.Applicants don't need to worry about these things. The departments are just trying to give themselves the flexibility they need to improve chances of success in filling the position.
Looking again at the original post, does anyone know of (more or less) reliable data concerning the number of Ph.D.'s in philosophy awarded each year in North America? It would be interesting to know approximately how many people are likely to be competing for these positions.
To the anon asking about numbers: generally open calls recieve 300 applications or more, and specific calls somewhere in the area of about 150+As the snowball of forlorn applicants grows each year, and as the number of available positions has been decreasing, I suspect that snowball will get larger and larger.My guess would be - shot in the dark - about 3,000 job seekers per year. Maybe 200-300 place (looking at the Leiter placement pages)- and then you could insert PhDs gained as the number to add to the 2700 or so for the following year. I liken chances to 1 out of 300, roughly.Does this sound reasonable, or no? I am going by rejection letters, Leiters page, and APA data.
3,000 job seekers??????? It can't be that bad. C'mon it can't be that bad. Look, you figure of the 50 Leiter ranked schools, on average (and this is probably an overestimate) each school has 10 ABDs on the market each year. That's 500. Could it really be that lateral moves, non-Leiter Ph.D.s, and Ph.D.s on the market for the 2nd 3rd 4th 5th nth time account for 2500 more people??? If so, fuck. None of us are getting jobs. It's just too mathematically unlikely.
"I have the impression that less departments are asking for student evaluations this year." Any application for a teaching position with an ungrammatical sentence like this should get tossed!
If only the APA had that kind of data on their website! What a useful thing that would be!In the scads of PFO letters I got last year, the typical number of applications (as reported by the SC) was around 250, for positions in ethics. That's typical for the jobs in general, as reported by others here (except, as noted, for the open positions). The more desirable programs in the more desirable places tend to get more.
It's small comfort, but some people may be glad to know that the number of applications is, as you'd expect, proportional to the desirability of the job. It's no secret that zombie is right about great positions in great places receiving 300+ applications. There's another end to the spectrum, though. I was on a search committee within the last two years at a very mediocre university in a middle-of-nowhere town, and we only received about 80 applications. That was for a tenure-track job in ethics.So, if you want a not-so-great position in a not-so-great place, I have not-so-great news: The competition may be merely incredibly stiff, rather than absurdly, extraordinarily stiff!Word verification: liqqued. "After reading JFP, the philosopher went home and liqqued a bunch of vodka pops."
Good news: no one's going to have to duel me this year. I decided not to enter the fray this time.Naturally with such a keen talent as myself out of the running you'll all be able to rest easier.
Anon 10:57:The number of candidates on the market, I'd assume, is much smaller than 3,000. Assume for the sake of argument a steady stream of six grad students per year coming out of each of 50 Leiter programs plus 10 other non-Leiter Continental programs. That's about 360 new applicants per year. There are usually about 250 jobs and placements per year, so there's always some number of people from this pool who don't get jobs. (I'm guessing, but these numbers seem reasonable to me.) If you bring in holdovers from the year before, during normal cycle years you're maybe looking at several hundred applicants from the previous year, and perhaps a hundred from the year before that. I guess I'd wager on a normal market year that there are about 650 applicants on the market at any given time; though maybe up to 800. Those numbers work nicely with the total application numbers I've heard for open searches, which at times reach into the high 400s. There's attrition after that, as the unemployed and unsuccessful begin to drop out of the hiring cycle. In an off-market cycle/recession, the numbers will likely be higher. Maybe by 200 or so. So, at the highest I'd approximate roughly 1000 people on the market this year.Those odds sound bad. If there are 250-300 hires in a year, and 1000 people on the market, the odds are about 1 in 4 that you'll place; but things aren't as bad as they sound. Remember that some folks on the market are completely new and flailing around like fish. They're just ABD, so all they're doing is going for a dry run. Sometimes they'll get a job; and if they do, good for them. But mostly they'll be passed over for the more mature candidates. Also, there are others on the market who are "too mature," "long in the tooth." Those who have been on the market for a long time but not made much research or publication headway will likely not smell as fresh. They too may struggle. They need to publish hard and fast to reassure a committee that they can become productive members of the community. (Maybe it ain't fair; but that's how I think many people see it.)In other words, though the numbers are tough and it's an uphill climb for all, the numbers are good enough that, provided you have enough ducks in a row--PhD done, a publication or two, an interesting project--you should be able to secure some interviews. And if you can secure some interviews, then you are in a good position to persuade a committee that you're the right person for their school. In any case, don't lose hope. The market is tough, no doubt; and every worthy candidate will not necessarily land a job; and that's terrible; but basically the odds are surmountable.
When I was on a SC at a very highly ranked program two years ago that had an open search, we received 420 applicants. We had up to three TT junior spots to fill. I don't know if this is normal for very desirable positions, but it didn't seem to surprise any of the more seasoned members of the SC.
A side note to Anon 1.39.To me your overall numbers sound about right, but you've seriously underestimated the number of PhD programs out there. Leiter only ranks around half the US programs. A quick google search pulled up this list:http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47/depts.htm#PhDwhich has 125 programs listed from the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.And it looks right to me, nowhere jumped out as being without a PhD program (at a quick glance). Does anyone know the true numbers?It's a good reminder that the Leiter Report's view of the philosophical universe is only partial, and that many people from programs not assessed there are competitive in the job market.
A job clearly advertised as a teaching position may also be less competitive --I know of a long-term (essentially TT) teaching position in a very attractive location that was an open position and only received about 100 applications last year. Now, 100 is still not great odds, but it does beat 300 (and there were less than five applicants from any top 20 PhD programs among that 100). I'm assuming great locations are usually in big cities--at least, that's the primary criteria for me (this is partially because I prefer cities, and partially because it will be much easier for my SO to get a job in a big city than in a small town 200 miles from anything sizable). If that's true of everyone, then I would expect an open position like USC's to garner the most applicants (good position at a good school, major city, great weather), but perhaps there are enough people who hate LA and/or not having seasons enough that it won't be as attractive? (At least I can pretend that's true...)
JFP failed to print University of Chicago's jobsThe Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago will conduct two faculty searches in 2011-2012:Don't worry Chicago, I've got your back!! I'll be available to teach next fall. Let's talk!
I was once told by one college, in a very desirable location, that they received over 600 apps. Very depressing. YFNA
Well, it's probably true about the many other schools, but we somehow have to account for the rough numbers in the 400s for the open positions. It's likely, I'd guess, that most people on the market apply for those. Even if it's only half of the people on the market (which seems to me way too low, but I confess I could be wrong), this would indicate that at any time there are between 800 and 900 people on the market.
Re estimates of job seekers to jobs: the rough figures of 10 graduates per program seems way off. Many programs don't even admit that many in a single cohort, and there's significant attrition over the course of the PhD. Lots of people are also either kept alive by their departments for 2 or 3 or 4 years of applications or secure other kinds of part-time or temporary work while applying for T-T jobs, which vastly inflates the number of applicants in the pool. I've also heard that people without philosophy PhDs also apply for philosophy jobs. So the figures of 400 files for an open search at an attractive but not unattainably elite university are not so worrisome - perhaps only half those files are worth reading once you eliminate people from the wrong field, ABDs with no pubs from non-elite graduate programs, etc. But perhaps someone with search committee experience could speak to this.
So, here's another question: suppose the AOS is open, EXCEPT for one of two areas, one of which happens to be my AOS (let's say, Metaphysics) BUT I have a 2nd AOS (let's say Early Modern) that isn't included in the two. The job otherwise is attractive to me--is it worth it for me to apply?
I just noticed that philjobs seems to have all the JFP ads listed. So much easier. It is especially nice given the "save" feature. Now I can make an online list of all jobs relevant to me. I wonder if phylo has some jobs not on philjobs? None in my area, at least.Now philjobs just needs an online submission of materials and an "apply" button.
Filosopher:The Census Bureau just released the US Statistical Abstract which almost answers your question; it links PhDs in Philosophy with those in Religious Studies. (I wish that administrators (and now bureaucrats) would stop thinking of these fields as going together in this way.) In 2009, there were 686 such PhDs granted. Here's a link: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/education/higher_education_degrees.html
There are a decent number of jobs on my list that are in the JFP and PhilJobs that aren't on Phylo (more than 10 my count) and also a few that are only on Phylo and not in the JFP or on PhilJobs (there are three that I see immediately--the Chicago job and two at military academies).
For what its worth I think there is a non-trivial number of people who apply to a very small number of jobs. The first time I went on the market I applied for seven. This year I'll be applying for just one (as I have funding for next year). I know a number of people who have limited themselves geographically in ways that limit their searches. If you included all such people in the total number of job seekers the number of total seekers may be much higher than if you are primarily counting people who are engaging in a very wide search.
I'd say an open AOS/AOC job at a research university in ranked the top 25 would get about 400 applications.
Last year I got a rejection from a small liberal arts college (not a famous one) that said that hey had over 500 applications for the job.
To the issue of the number of PhDs in philosophy - the Survey of Earned Doctorates from the NSF gives some summary numbers here:http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf11306/appendix/pdf/tab14.pdfShort version, since '99 the number of (US produced) PhDs in philosophy ranged over a narrow band, from ~350-425 per year, with no obvious trends. I'm sure some more searching would produce more detailed data on a longer period, but it's safe to say that a good rough estimate of newly minted PhDs from the US is about 400/year.
Completely off-topic: I've killed several insects with the paper edition of the JFP at this point. What do other smokers do with the paper edition?
I gave mine to my TA in case he was interested in working up some suicidal thoughts in advance of going on the job market. Practice, you know.
something wrong with the position #193 (yale-NUS college) in JFP. It seems that it has combined and mixed the information of position #166 (Yale) in it. =(
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