Finding a Job in Academia

Many, but not all, Brown PhD’s will seek tenure-track positions. While a few academic job seekers will land tenure track positions right away, many more will begin their post-doctoral careers with temporary appointments, such as adjunct teaching positions, research post-docs, or visiting professorships. There may also be attractive opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills in higher-ed administrative roles.

When choosing your career path, is important to listen to your own values and interests. If your passion is teaching, a position at a smaller school that emphasizes students may be a good fit. If you’re interested in policy, advocacy, and organization, on the other hand, you may want to pursue a career in administration. Learning about these options can help you craft a job search focus and strategy that is right for you.

Learn About the Market

One of the best resources for learning about the academic job market is The Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s not only the premier source for higher education job listings. It’s also the best source for getting the inside scoop on the nature of the market in any given year. Each year The Chronicle publishes first-person accounts of life on the market as well as advice from the pros, including faculty who’ve served on search committees.

Plan Your Search

Although the process of looking for a faculty appointment differs from discipline to discipline, all searches require an expenditure of time and money. You will spend an enormous amount of time preparing materials to send out to prospective employers. In addition to cover letters, CV’s, and preparing for interviews and job talks, you will correspond with the institutions you’ve applied to and travel to conferences and universities for interviews.

Further Information and Resources

  • The Smart Scholar Series on the Interfolio Blog is a good source for info on a variety of topics touching on academic life and careers, including tips on organizing and planning the Academic Job search. The two following items are recent particularly helpful examples:
  • Dr. Ramon Goings on Navigating the Academic Job Market
  • Dr. Ramon Goings Three tips for Organizing the Job Search
  • A useful and widely recpmmended academic job search tool and database.
  • Administration 101: A well regarded series of essays by David Perlmutter in The Chronicle of Higher Ed. on topics in administration and leadership in Academia.