Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How long does an academic candidate have on the market?

From the humanities, a rather terrifying notice for faculty candidates from Brian Leiter, via Marginal Revolution:
Philosopher Daniel Weiskopf (Georgia State) calls my attention to a quite startling ad for a job in English at Colorado State University, which requires that applicants have earned the PhD since 2010!  As the linked post notes, given the state of the humanities job market, everyone knows there are lots of very good candidates with PhDs from 2009, 2008 and, horrors, even 2007 who still haven't found suitable appontments.  This ad promises to consign them to the discard pile without even looking at them.  Hopefully we won't see such ads in philosophy.
Haven't seen such ads in chemistry, but I am sure that readers will point them out.

UPDATE: Astute commenter Anon100220120537p notes that the ad has been changed after the outcry. From Inside Higher Ed:
The revised posting does not have the previous requirement, and instead specifies that the job is “entry-level.” “In light of the response to our initial ad, we examined how we could better describe the parameters of our search. We posted an updated position announcement that informs applicants that the position is entry-level and removes the restriction on date of degree. We invite all qualified and interested applicants to apply for the position," said Louann Reid, chair of English at Colorado State, in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed.
In other words, there now, we won't be honest anymore.


  1. I can't imagine why you would do such a thing on any hiring committee. We put out an ad for an assistant prof, expecting only to have post docs and assistant profs from elsewhere applying. We ended up with a flood of tenured associate profs and even a couple full professors applying. While I understand narrowing the field in order to reduce the number of applications you read, I don't understand limiting your applicant pool in exactly this way.

  2. The ad has been updated since its original posting: http://chronicle.com/jobs/0000742727-01

    The university admitted their mistake: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/09/13/colorado-state-rewrites-controversial-job-ad

  3. @CJ: Dude, check out this post on LinkedIn:

    R&D Chemist, Upstream Oil and Gas Production

    Cameron-Process and Compression System (PCS)
    Group - Houston, Texas Area

    Job ID: 3708284

    You'll get a kick out of the "Manifesto Section"...hoo-rah!!!

    1. My goodness, what a winner:


      "This is an R&D facility. We do technical and scientific work here. We like it and we are proud of it. We do not command personnel armies of standard soldiers, we are more like Special Forces, highly trained, small, efficient, quiet, but “deadly” effective.

      We are self starters and motivated to leave a mark, small or big, in the technical field we work on."

    2. This really means that:

      "we don't have a lot of headcount, so you'll be working a lot of hours"

  4. I've applied to industry jobs tagged with "NCG" without knowing that it stood for "New college graduate." I received a phone interview with the hiring manager for one, and it looked like I'd get a site interview...until the company's HR department realized I had a 3-year post-doc under my belt and wasn't fresh enough.

    This crap goes on EVERYWHERE!

    1. Many places also prefer to hire people who are currently employed rather than looking into the unemployed ranks. This is not an uncommon thing these days...

  5. Anon740: Nice find!

    CJ, don't you think that posting deserves a meme?

  6. An interesting question. I knew a guy who was a PDF for ~7 years, doggedly looking for an academic position. Every year he'd get a few interviews, but no offers. Luckily he did finally get a position (not a great school or location, but he's happy). This was in the late 90s: I'm not sure the job market is as strong today. I assume at some point schools start thinking "well, if no one else wanted her/him, why would we".

  7. Too much PDF experience being a bad thing is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In any sensible walk of life, more experience is positive not a negative

  8. When I was applying there were a few companies that wouldn't interview me (during my second year of postdoc), even though I had friends who were hiring managers because it was the company's policy to not interview people more than a year and a half out of their PhD.

  9. In the UK, there are several "career development awards" that give you a 5-year grant (basically a start-up package) to start your lab if you can find an institution to host you. But they all have a time limit - usually you can only apply up to 6 years after your PhD thesis defense.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20