Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fall Job Market: Some Impressions

Because of the fact that the JFP doesn't come out in two discrete bunches anymore, it's hard to make a direct, precise comparison between this year's October JFP situation and those from years past. But as of right now, I have between five and ten jobs on my list than I had at this time last year. So, for me, at least, things seem a little better. Not that this means anything.

According to PhilJobs, the JFP had 203 listings, of which 167 are tenured or tenure-track, and 36 are not. (PhilJobs itself claims 351, of which 247 are tenured or tenure-track, and 104 are not.) Whereas last year's JFP day had 194 ads plus another 48 web-onlies (some of which were no-doubt duplicates from the print edition, and who-knows-how-many were non-tenure-track). So, without pretending to be very precise, my sense is that, all things considered, this year is about the same as last year, or maybe a little worse. I don't know. According to last year's October JFP post, which is where I got the information concerning last year's JFP from just now, there were 140 ads in the print edition from October of '09, 267 in '08--just after the econopocalypse but before the devastation had fully manifested itself--and 347 ads in October of '07, the most recent year with a decent economy going in. I did not double-check any of these numbers. Corrections and additional context are welcome.

Leiter has been optimistic the past couple of years, suggesting that rebounds in other disciplines are signs of a rebound in ours. Last year was political science; this year it was sociology. I'll believe it when I see it.

 --Mr. Zero

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like it's another good year for history, as it was last year (maybe better this time for modern than for ancient). M/E seems better than last year (although for phil. language it is still an extremely tough market). Surprisingly there seem to be comparatively fewer jobs in ethics. At least that's my impression.

Anonymous said...

stuff is still showing up in the JFP. you're right the difference is marginal compared to last year: looks like marginally better.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there do seem to to be fewer jobs in ethics, and especially fewer jobs in social and political. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

As others have noted, the JFP continues to publish new ads, so we don't yet have the full October numbers.

What stands out to me is the distribution. Relatively speaking, this seems to be a much better year for history, especially Descartes-to-Kant. It seems like a much worse year for "Ethics" in general, but a better year for some applied value theory areas (esp. feminist philosophy/philosophy of gender) and a somewhat worse year for other applied value theory areas (esp. philosophy of race).

Anonymous said...

I just did a rough comparison of Ethics TT jobs in 20012 and 2009, and the results are pretty good.

Assume you do not want to apply to 4/4 jobs, CC jobs, etc. Call the remaining jobs "solid options". Then call ranked four year colleges, places with grad programs, places with strong research faculty but without grad programs, etc. "appealing options".

In these terms I estimate the 2009/2012 comparison as follows:

Solid Ethics TT options:
2009: 28
2012: 20

Appealing Ethics options:
2009: 16
2012: 12

Anonymous said...

Damn. It's hard learning that my job is neither a solid nor an appealing option. My happiness has been a lie.

Anonymous said...

Anyone got numbers on Lang/Met? It seems like a better year this year than last for those areas, but my heart may be deceiving me.

BunnyHugger said...

I would love a 4/4 job. So, I advise you all not to apply to any of those, then I'll walk right into one!

Anonymous said...

Can you explain how a 30% reduction in ethics jobs as compared to the worst year on record would be "pretty good" results?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:48 PM, and anyone else who cares:

Crap. My dates are wrong. Those should be 2008 and 2012.

Anonymous said...

8:32:

Amen and amen. I'm just starting my 32nd year at a non-solid and non-appealing job, and I wouldn't trade with most R1s for a second. Good colleagues, some rewarding students (one co-authored "Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly"), and even decent pubs. Think a 4/4 will kill you? It might save you.

Anonymous said...

Well, for me (AOS of ethics/ancient philosophy), there are 47 TT jobs (I am not including jobs with AOSs in applied ethics). This doesn't include CC jobs, but does include 4/4s. Compared to my list last year (although I didn't go on the market), that's a LOT worse (73 jobs TT jobs at this time last year). So, from my perspective, it's pretty depressing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand all of these Applicant Pool ads that are posted in PhilJobs this year. How much lead time do they give you when it comes time for a job and they reach into their pool and pull up your name?

Anonymous said...

5:46 and 8:32 --

Tell me about. Everytime I hear someone start rumbling about "the CC" trap, I think: I guess I really have been "trapped" by all these unappealing tricks like living wages and benefits, reasonable work expectations, reliable and respectable union representation, respectful non-sexist/racist colleagues, straight-forward and clear tenure/promotion standards, a total of 12 guaranteed weeks of vacation time annually, public service student loan forgiveness through the William D Ford Federal Loan Program in 10 years, and actual non-shared office space. And all I have to do is teach 5/5/2 philosophy courses and have some office hours. It's totally a trap! It looks completely desirable and awesome, but its not! Run away! Run away fast!

(I mean, I guess that not all CCs have it as good as I do, but really, folks. It's hard to hear folks complaining about how hard it is to find a job say that there are some perfectly decent jobs that are "not appealing", when there are people who cannot even get jobs at McDonald's because who is hiring these days?)

Anonymous said...

"Can you explain how a 30% reduction in ethics jobs as compared to the worst year on record would be "pretty good" results?"

Because morality must be overcome before the spirit of great men like Napoleon and Goethe and Newt Gingrich can truly flourish.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what sucks for those of us who do 19th Century. One of the few jobs out there for us is at Catholic University of America in DC, which has a HORRIBLE record on academic freedom and LGBTQ and women's rights.

Anonymous said...

Readers of this blog should read this excellent reflection on how success is largely a matter of luck: http://robertpaulwolff.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-secret-of-my-success.html

Anonymous said...

Of all the jobs I applied to last year, Catholic University of America was the only one that never responded, didn't even send a form PFO. But I know they got my application because they asked me to fill out their HR self-i.d. form.

So fuck them!

Anonymous said...

How long has it been since your last confession? Say 10 our Fathers and 250 Hail Mary's and you will be forgiven. And oh yes, good luck on the job market. May you find an appropriately atheist...uh huh, secular institution.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst year I've seen for jobs in social/political. There are virtually none as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So I just read a letter of rec for a job candidate (I'm on a SC). Absolutely brutal. It wasn't just unenthusiastic; it outright insulted the candidate along numerous dimensions. Why would you agree to write a letter if you are going to go out of your way to say that the person is bad? I understand not going in for hyperbolic praise. I read tons of letters like those where it is clear that the letter writer isn't giving full support. But a letter this damning is a rare find.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:17 PM:

Nice! So kind of you to post that and cause everyone on the market to start the day with a pleasant rush of anxiety. Did you remember to tell your partner he or she looks a bit old and pudgy this morning?

Anonymous said...

@8:17
So are you going to share, or just let us imagine how terrible the letter is?

Anonymous said...

I had a faculty member offer to write me a letter. I foolishly accepted, in spite of past differences with this person. Early in the process an anonymous message alerted me that he had sabotaged my candidacy in a pretty transparent way. I was able to correct the situation. Depending on how badly the letter undermines the candidate and depending on whether this is an otherwise reasonable looking dossier, I would suggest you drop this candidate an anonymous tip. It violates professional ethics, but is still worth considering.

Anonymous said...

@7:23AM
It seems that your situation is distinctive in that you say that the faculty member who wrote the letter that sabotaged your candidacy 'offered' to write it. Does this mean they offered themselves up as a letter writer without being first asked? If so, to write a damaging letter seems unprofessional and unethical. I think the situation of faculty being asked to write a letter is somewhat different.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:55 AM
I'm not sure about metaphysics, but my sense is language is looking slightly worse this year than last. By my count, there were 7 philosophy of language jobs last year (compared with 4 the year before), and there are 5 so far this year. These counts include disjunctive searches (some of which I know didn't end up hiring in language last year) so there's some question of what the departments in question are really looking for. It's possible I've overlooked some thing, though.