Job market numbers update

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At the beginning of this month, I published a post noting that this year’s academic job market in philosophy appeared to be off to a hot start. However, in mid-September, several readers in our job-market discussion thread noted that it seemed like there were fewer jobs this cycle than last year. I promised to follow up on this, so I took a look today at different types of job ads on PhilJobs this year (from August 1 – September 30th) in comparison to the past 10 years to see how things are going.

Here is what I found:

Total Job Ads on PhilJobs

2022: 174 ads
2021: 133
2020: 65
2019: 146
2018: 156
2017: 135
2016: 155
2015: 136
2014: 149
2013: 163
2012: 252

Long story short: at least so far, taking all job ads on PhilJobs into account, this does appear to be the best academic job market in philosophy since 2012 (though not by a tremendous margin; 10-year mean = 151; median = 149).

Still, because general numbers can be a bit misleading, I took a little bit of a deeper dive, looking into numbers for different types of jobs. It would be nice if PhilJobs had a search function narrowly tailored to specific types of jobs (such as VAPs, non-tenure-track Lecturers and Teaching Professors, etc.), but it has the next best thing–namely: 

So, I tried searching by some of these terms (not all of which were useful or informative), and here’s what I found:

Junior faculty (tenure track or similar)

2022: 96 ads

2021: 73

2020: 21

2019: 75

2018: 101

2017: 81

2016: 89

2015: 84

2014: 95

2013: 111

2012: 108

 

Quick takeaway: the number of junior TT job ads this year seems to be a little above average (the mean number of junior TT job ads over the past 10 years is 85; if we subtract out the COVID year 2020, the mean is 91. The median number over the past 10 years is 89).

 

Junior (Postdocs or similar, ‘fixed term’)

2022: 39

2021: 34

2020: 30

2019: 46

2018: 28

2017: 37

2016: 42

2015: 20

2014: 33

2013: 31

2012: 87

 

Quick takeaway: this year is ‘a little above average’ (mean over the past 10 years = 39, but this is skewed by 2012’s extreme outlier. The median is more representative and = 34).

 

Junior (Visiting Fellowship / Professorship, ‘fixed term’)

2022: 12

2021: 14

2020: 9

2019: 18

2018: 8

2017: 11

2016: 21

2015: 11

2014: 15

2013: 21

2012: 60

 

Quick takeaway: broadly in line with last 9 years, 2012 is an extreme outlier.

 

Senior faculty (tenure track or similar)

2022: 31

2021: 32

2020: 11

2019: 24

2018: 35

2017: 25

2016: 34

2015: 29

2014: 43

2013: 45

2012: 45

 

Quick takeaway: the number of senior tenure-track jobs is broadly in line with the past 8 years, but there were a lot more senior TT jobs in 2012-2014. So again, about ‘average’ this year, though the number of these jobs advertised each year is about 33% less than in 2012-2014.

 

Senior faculty (Tenured, continuing or permanent)

2022: 13

2021: 14

2020: 8

2019: 13

2018: 13

2017: 8

2016: 21

2015: 19

2014: 21

2013: 19

2012: 33

 

Quick takeaway: ‘about average’ compared to the last five years, but there were significantly more senior/tenured jobs from 2012-2016. This and the last category may suggest that colleges and universities are not filling senior retirements with senior positions as much as in the past, but instead more junior positions.

 

So, is this year’s philosophy job market good or bad so far? My hot take: it’s complicated. It’s a little better in some ways than recent markets (junior TT jobs & postdocs), but on the whole, still pretty bad (much as it has been for decades now)…

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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