|Job Center 2010 Statistics Reveal Employment Trends in the Field|
The Annual Meeting Job Center is designed to ease the communication process between candidates for academic positions and employers seeking to fill available positions. The Job Center features an Annual Meeting edition of Job Postings, candidate credentials for review, a message center, and an interview facility.
The 2010 Annual Meeting Job Center saw a total of 504 candidates and 65 open positions. We experienced a 63 percent increase in open positions registered for the Job Center from 2009 while the number of candidates registered increased by 6 percent. The ratio of registered positions to registered candidates was 1:7.7. Though there was a significant increase in positions available this year in comparison to last year, this ratio indicates that, as in previous years, the number of candidates continues to exceed the number of positions available.
Each year, the AAR gathers data about job positions and candidates registered for the Center. Each position and candidate is required to have a primary classification from a provided list. They may also have additional classifications (candidates are limited to a total of three). The “primary” columns indicate the number of times each classification was chosen as a primary choice (click here to see full chart).
When drawing conclusions from this data, it is important to think of the motivations that guide employers’ and candidates’ choices. Employers tend to choose more broad classifications that correspond to the classes needing to be taught. They are likely willing to consider candidates from an array of specializations as long as each person can teach general courses. In contrast, a candidate’s primary choice is usually his or her area of research, though they can teach more broadly. Take Christian Studies as an example — one need not specialize in this area to teach a course. The fact that the classification had a 1:2.8 primary ratio in 2009 does not automatically mean that candidates who chose the classification each had a 28 percent chance of getting a job.
Another example is Comparative Religions. From looking at the number of times this classification was chosen as primary in 2010, it might seem that each candidate in that field had about a 100 percent chance of getting a job. However, many candidates who chose Buddhism, Hinduism, or World Religions as their specialty have the ability to teach Comparative Religions. So employers needing a Comparative Religions professor are not limited to only those candidates who consider it to be their specialty.
This is where the “all” columns come into play. These columns indicate the total number of times a classification was chosen as either primary or “additional.” These columns often give better indications of the ratio of positions to candidates within a particular subfield. Take the example from above. Many of the candidates who chose Hinduism or World Religions likely chose Comparative Religions as an additional choice. Therefore, the position-to-position ratio of 1:3.1 is a better indicator of how many candidates might have sought a particular position.
Still, because of the different motivations that guide choices and because many of the classifications are interrelated, the candidate-to-job ratios shown below cannot give a clear indication of a candidate’s chances of getting a job. Rather, they serve mainly to identify trends in position openings and candidate specializations.