August 14, 2012
Are you a recent doctoral degree recipient in the sociology profession? What has been your experience with seeking positions at the assistant or open rank level? Have you interviewed for academic sociology positions whose preferred expertise differs from your area(s) of study? Do your experiences match our findings? Share your thoughts and stimulate a discussion with others in the field through our blog.
Results from ASA’s fourth job market survey suggest that the job market for recently-graduated sociology PhDs is improving, with the number of available jobs approaching pre-Great Recession years. In 2011, we saw a larger number of open specialties being advertised in the ASA Job Bank than in 2010, and almost 90 percent of advertised positions were for assistant or open rank professorships. The 2011-2012 Job Bank survey also quantified the top five most-frequent and least-frequent advertised areas of specialization in position advertisements, and enumerated the types of non-sociology academic departments that advertised for sociologists in 2011.
The findings from the 2011-2012 study are cause for cautious optimism among new sociology PhDs, though we note that the “overhang” of unplaced or under-placed sociology scholars resulting from the Great Recession (since 2008) is likely to create challenging conditions for recently-graduated PhDs in the field.
May 16, 2012
As the Research Department prepares to launch its latest survey of academic departments’ outcomes with search and interview processes for assistant and open rank faculty positions advertised in 2011, we welcome graduate or recent graduate students seeking jobs in academia to discuss their own experiences with search processes. For those who have sought positions within the past year, have they been predominantly at the assistant or open-rank level? Has a position for which you applied or interviewed been cancelled or suspended? If your training is in sociology, have you applied or interviewed for positions in academic departments outside of sociology? How closely have your areas of expertise matched the areas of specialization sought by the departments to which you’ve applied?
Several past research briefs and projects by the Research Department have surveyed the landscape of the academic job market and experiences with hiring assistant or open-rank level faculty, including our 2010 Job Bank Study. For the results from the first part of our latest Job Bank study (an audit of all positions posted in ASA’s Job Bank in 2011), click here.
September 6, 2011
Moving Towards Change: Findings from the 2010 Job Bank Survey is now available on our website. In it, we discuss what happened to the jobs available to newly minted PhDs that were advertised through the ASA in 2010. This year, we also compare specializations requested by employers to the academic interests of our student membership, as indicated on membership forms. Have a read and feel free to post your comments here. We are always interested to hear what you may be interested to learn from these surveys in the future.
August 9, 2010
Each year, we conduct an audit of jobs advertised in the ASA Job Bank. (Findings from the previous years can be found in Too Many or Too Few PhDs? Employment Opportunities in Academic Sociology (2006 data) and Down Market? Findings from the 2008 ASA Job Bank Survey). In 2008, we expanded our study beyond comparing the number of academic and non-academic positions to include a survey of departments that advertised at least one assistant or open rank position in order to find out what happened to those jobs. Were their searches successful and, if so, were they filled at the rank of assistant professor? How many jobs were canceled or searches suspended due to a hiring freeze? Where openings remained vacant because of cancellations or other reasons, would temporary faculty be used to fill the gap? Because information on the job market is most useful to new PhDs, our survey is limited to departments that advertised positions for which newly minted PhDs can apply.
As reported in our new research brief, Still a Down Market: Findings from the 2009/2010 Job Bank Survey, the total number of jobs advertised has continued to decline since 2006. The number of jobs advertised has continued to decline since 2006, a finding similar to those reported by other social science and humanities disciplines. Comparing all jobs advertised by U.S. and foreign institutions in 2009 to those in 2008, we find fewer academic positions, but slightly more non-academic positions. Assistant and open rank faculty positions, which account for a majority of academic positions advertised in the ASA Job Bank (92% in 2009) fell 35% while the number of advertising departments fell 32% compared to 2008-2009 figures. On a somewhat optimistic note, searches were conducted in almost all cases, and about 86% of those were successful. Read more findings, including information on jobs not filled, and comparisons by departments and types of institutions in our new research brief.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Click here to post your comments and questions. As we will continue this study next year, we welcome suggestions as to what data we should collect for future studies on the job market for sociologists.
All comments are public, do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
October 14, 2009
The new research brief, Down Market? Findings From the 2008 ASA Job Bank Study presents findings from an in-depth follow-up to our 2006 study on jobs in academic sociology advertised through the ASA Job Bank, Too Many or Too Few PhDs? Employment Opportunities in Academic Sociology. Going a step further year, departments were surveyed to determine how many advertised positions were filled and how many were canceled or suspended. Our findings show that job seekers searching for assistant sociology professor positions in AY 2008/09 were faced with a difficult job market, though it wasn’t as bad as we expected.
Join the discussion! Post your comments.
Note: Do not provide your name if you wish for your comments to remain anonymous.
August 7, 2009
Inside Higher Ed today reports on the preliminary findings from our latest job bank survey in the article Jobs Filled and Unfilled. As a more extensive follow-up to our 2008 study of the job market, we surveyed departments that advertised assistant and open rank positions for academic year 2009-2010 to determine how many jobs were filled, and how many were canceled or suspended. The final research brief will soon be available on our homepage.
March 26, 2009
As the current recession effects faculty hiring in higher education, disciplinary associations such as the American Historical Association and Modern Languages Association have reported declining numbers of jobs for PhDs advertised at their meetings or on the websites. As a result of what they refer to as “turmoil in financial markets” and “what appears to be a non-trivial economic downturn,” the American Economics Association has asked employers who have listed positions in JOE (Job Opportunities for Economists) to announce any suspension or cancellation of listed jobs. Between August and December 2008, more than 50 jobs were canceled, according to the list of announcements.
The American Sociological Association (ASA) is joining its sister organizations in announcing job losses for sociology PhDs at all levels. Professor Jerry Jacobs of the University of Pennsylvania will join the Research and Development Department in conducting a survey to find out how many of the 2008 jobs listed in the Job Bank were filled and how many were canceled. Chairs and department administrators should be expecting a few-question survey later this spring. Findings should be available at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Click below to view preliminary comparisons of 2006 and 2008 Job Bank findings.
Read the rest of this entry »