Home Annual Meeting 2009 Annual Meeting News 2008-2009 Employment Survey Highlights

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To get a more accurate picture of employment trends in the field, the AAR expanded our data collection efforts by creating a Web-based, anonymous survey to track hirings by specialization and to collect demographic information on job candidates.

In spring 2009, surveys were sent to all candidates who registered for the 2008 Annual Meeting Job Center in Chicago, IL, and to all employers who had advertised a position in Job Postings in 2008. Presented here are highlights of the data received. Complete results can be found at www.aarweb.org/jump/jobcenter. This ongoing project will provide longitudinal data.

Employer Data

Out of 504 employer solicitations, 69 responses were received (14 percent response rate). Seventy-one percent of those who responded filled the position, which they had advertised in Job Postings. Of the 49 positions filled, 45 percent of the employers report interviewing the appointee at the Job Center. The majority of the positions filled were at the assistant professor level (58 percent), followed by associate professor (12 percent), visiting professor (10 percent), full (8 percent), lecturer (6 percent), and instructor (2 percent), with 4 percent of the positions ranked as “other.” Seventy four percent of the positions were tenure-track, 18 percent were non-tenure-track, 6 percent were tenured, and 2 percent were ranked as “other.” None were reported as adjunct, joint appointment, or limited. Forty-nine percent of the appointees were male; 51 percent were female. The racial/ethnic distribution of the appointees was as follows: 71 percent Caucasian or Euro-American, 13 percent African American or black, 10 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 4 percent Latino/a or Hispanic, and 2 percent reported “other.” None reported American Indian, Alaska Native, or Multiracial.

Candidate Data

Out of 568 candidate solicitations, 131 responses were received (23 percent response rate). When asked to indicate employment status during the search, 60 percent reported being a graduate student, 28 percent reported part-time/adjunct faculty status, and 19 percent reported full-time/non-tenure-track faculty status [candidates could select more than one response]. Seventy-one percent held a PhD or planned to have the degree completed by August 2009, while 17 percent would be ABD going into fall 2009.

Job Offers

Of the 131 candidates who responded, 44 percent received one or more job offers. Of those, 77 percent received one offer, 19 percent received two offers, 2 percent received three offers, and 2 percent received more than three offers.

Of those candidates who did not receive a job offer or accept a new position, 57 percent planned to continue in the same employment status, the top three of which were: graduate student (60 percent), part-time or adjunct faculty (30 percent), full-time/non-tenure-track faculty (14 percent) [candidates could select more than one response]. Nineteen percent did not know at the time of the survey what they would do the following academic year.

Position Data

Of the 53 candidates who accepted an offer, 46 percent will work in a private college/university, 27 percent will work in a public college/university, 13 percent will work in a church related college, 6 percent will work in a university-related divinity school, and 6 percent will work in a free-standing seminary. Two percent reported that they will work in an institution classified as “other.” Seventy-one percent will work as full-time/tenure-track faculty, 21 percent as full-time/non-tenure-track faculty, and 2 percent as part-time/adjunct faculty. Six percent reported “other.” None reported working as full-time tenured faculty or in administration.

Of the 53 candidates who accepted positions, 65 percent report being thrilled with the new position, 33 percent report feeling satisfied with the position, and 2 percent report feeling unsatisfied. None report feeling deeply unhappy about the position.

Candidate Demographics

Fifty-nine percent of the candidates who registered for the 2008 Job Center were male; 41 percent were female. Regarding race/ethnicity, 85 percent of the registrants reported their race/ethnicity as Caucasian or Euro-American, 5 percent Latino/a or Hispanic, 2 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 2 percent Multiracial, 1 percent African American or Black, and 1 percent American Indian or Alaskan native. Four percent chose “other.” In terms of citizenship, 87 percent were United States citizens, 7 percent were citizens of Canada, 3 percent were non-citizen residents of the United States, and 3 percent reported their citizenship as “other.”

Job Search Experience

Eighty-nine percent of responding candidates reported that interviewers did not exhibit unprofessional or inappropriate behavior. Those that did encounter such behavior reported offensive remarks and offensive actions.

Eighty-six percent of candidates report that interviewers did not ask questions or broach topics of an inappropriate nature. Of those who did encounter such questions/topics, the three most common were in regards to religious beliefs, marital status, and political views. Fifty-six percent reported that the interviewer directly asked an inappropriate question. Thirty-nine percent stated the interviewer indirectly broached an inappropriate topic. Seventy-four percent of the respondents answered the question truthfully, while 17 percent changed the topic in order to avoid the question. Fifty-four percent are not sure whether their response was to their advantage or disadvantage. Twenty-seven percent believe their answer was to their disadvantage and 18 percent believe it was to their advantage.


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