Friday, December 7, 2007

Too soon

This year's job market leaves me depressed. It's too good - there are too many postings, including several I could really see myself in. Back in my first year, one professor told me the market was really opening up and that when I went out there would maybe be five jobs to apply for; this year, I've already seen more than five. Presumably, most of these places will find what they want (at least the most desirable places) and not hire again next year. Looks like the blossoming of the market happened too early for me.

Of course, a lot of these new hires will be upgrades, so next year Southwest State University will have an opening after someone moved from there to University of Flagship. But these jobs aren't particularly desirable, at least from our faculty's point of view. (Mind you, our track record for placing students doesn't reflect faculty ambitions, but this has to do with student ambitions as well as the faculty. They can't make someone who wants to do institutional research apply for a job as an assistant professor.) Nevertheless, they aren't necessarily jobs I am enticed by, either.

I have this fear that next year every job opening will be either be somewhere I don't want to go or for a kind of scholar that I'm not. Or there will be one fabulous job and every single fresh PhD and assistant professor will be vying for it.

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