"US faculty job market tanks"

Potentially terrifying news piece (warning: paywalled) in Science last week. Job openings in the US are significantly down year-over-year:

The scarcity of academic jobs is a perennial problem for U.S. science trainees. But this year, faculty job openings at U.S. institutions are down 70% compared with last year, according to an analysis of job advertisements on the Science Careers job board. (Science’s news team operates independently from the job board.) Only 173 U.S.-based jobs were posted from July to September, compared with 571 during the same period last year. Non-U.S. job postings dropped by 8%.

(Emphasis mine.)

Here’s the trend so far for one job board:

Courtesey [Science](https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6514/272).
Courtesey Science.

The dismal numbers reflect anxiety about university finances amid the pandemic, says Robert Zemsky, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania who studies university finances. Big public universities, in particular, are a “total mess,” he says. “They are losing enrollment, they are losing revenue, and they don’t know what to do, so they have hiring freezes everywhere.”

There’s an argument at the end about a silver lining, that if/when the market rebounds, job searches will be more open to candidates who pursued a non-traditional career track, but that feels pretty thin compared to the potential loss we are going to feel.


Jim Bagrow
Jim Bagrow
Associate Professor of Mathematics & Statistics

My research interests include complex networks, computational social science, and data science.