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SCS Newsletter - May, 2017 (Main Story)

Jobs and Careers

Placement Service Data (2016-2017 year)

Even though the jobs for next year are still rolling in, we couldn't wait to release some critical information about the Classics job market for the first half of this academic year. These data were gathered in the Fall and by means of surveys earlier this Spring.

Below you'll find a summary of our findings for an at-a-glance sense of how things went. If you'd like the full swath of de-identified data, you can freely download it all right here.

Placement Service (338 respondents out of 639 possible)

  • Of the 639 people on the job market, 338 filled out candidate profiles on our website. All percentages are based on the number people who answered a question rather than how many of the 338 could have answered.
  • Judging by the most common attributes in each category, the average Placement Service candidate is a married (57%), white (88%), male (58%), US citizen (72%) with his Ph.D. from Princeton (5%). He is currently a graduate student (36%) researching Latin literature (25%), and is using the Placement Service for the first time (52%) to apply to 1-5 jobs (43%). He has published 1-2 articles (34%) but has not yet published a book (70%).
  • The gender distribution in the Placement Service mirrors almost exactly that of the SCS membership as a whole (ca. 60% men, 40% women).
  • 17% of the candidates have used the Placement Service for four or more years.
  • The next-most popular research category after Latin Literature is Greek Literature (also 25%). The least popular is Comparative Literature (1%).
  • Full-time non-TT and part-time adjunct faculty together make up 33% of the job market.

Post-Meeting Placement Service Survey, Candidates (141 respondents - 73 responding in detail - out of 639 possible)

  • The plurality of people using the Placement Service are in the 31-35 age range (45%).
  • For those considering fields outside of the academy the most popular choice is secondary education (24%), followed by academic administration (17%).

Post-Meeting Placement Service Survey, Institutions (19 respondents out of 21 possible - sent to institutions electing Comprehensive Placement service, i.e. to interview at the Annual Meeting)

  • All reporting institutions cited the importance of the in-person aspect of the job search as a primary reason why they chose to interview at the annual meeting as opposed to digitally. Over half also liked the ability to see the candidates giving a paper or in more informal settings.
  • Most (60%) institutions report a 3-6 week processing period between their application deadline and the submission of a short list to the SCS, mostly due to the end-of-semester time crunch.

Interviews at the Annual Meeting (Internal numbers, all data verified)

  • 22 institutions (21 plus the SCS TLL Fellowship) interviewed at the annual meeting for a total of 25 jobs.
    • Note that 2 other institutions interviewed at the meeting, but not through the Placement Service (totaling 5 jobs between them). We have no detailed data on these searches, and the following statements do not include their numbers 
  • The average shortlist size was 12, with the lowest being 7 and the highest being 25.
  • Most (76%) were tenure track jobs (as of December 16, 2016). 9 were for generalists, 9 for Latinists, and 7 for Hellenists. All but three carried the title of “Assistant Professor”
  • Out of the 639 registered as placement candidates, 189 (30%) received interviews at the meeting
  • Of the candidates chosen for interviews, the majority (58%) were women
  • A number of interviewees (31%) interviewed for more than one job, with five being the highest number of interviews for one person

Final Notes

More data about the job market this year will be available later this summer once we have received all the hiring information. This update will include how many jobs were posted this year, what kind of jobs they were, and who was hired for them. If you have any suggestions for data that you would like to see or the way in which these data are presented, please contact or reach out to the Placement Service coordinator Erik Shell at

Networking Event in Boston

As is apparent from the preliminary Placement data above, the current state of the Classics job market is highly competitive when viewed through the narrow lens of landing a tenure-track position. To address this, the Society, with the combined effort of its past three presidents and the SCS office itself, has been taking steps to make members more aware of the options available to them.

One of these steps will be our first ever "Classics and Archaeology Career Networking Event" at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Boston. This early evening event will be a roundtable, speed dating-like gathering where Classics Ph.D.s not working in academia – many of them recruited from the Paideia Institute's Legion Project - will move around 6 tables of 10 attendees each. They'll have fifteen minutes to talk about how they transitioned from academia to their current position and to take questions from those at their table. Interested attendees will have to register for this free event when they go to register for the annual meeting as space will be limited.

It is important to both the SCS leadership and the SCS office to make room for such an event at our largest gathering of the year. Such events not only remind the field that Classicists are doing great work everywhere, but they also give us a chance to reconnect with those who now might not otherwise come to the annual meeting. We hope that these changes - and this event in particular - will reignite the conversation about career goals for Classicists.

More May 2017 Newsletter Content

For Georgia's own words on this change and our new focus on jobs, read her piece in this same Newsletter.

For Joy Connolly's take on what a Classics Ph.D. can become, visit this page.

For jobs data stretching even further back, read Jason Pedicone's article.

For a way to get this issue of academic jobs into the public eye, read about our social media campaign to John Oliver's Last Week Tonight.

Photo Credits for May, 2017 Newsletter

 - “The Office
   by Werwin15
   licensed under CC BY 2.0

- “Broken Past
   by Vladimir Kud
   licensed under CC BY 2.0

- “Seedling Planting
   by USFS Region 5
   licensed under CC BY 2.0

- “Jason Pedicone"
   by Jason Pedicone
   used with permission

- “old-MIT-classroom
   by Ryan Tyler Smithright
   licensed under CC BY 2.0

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