Wednesday, November 8
I'm not on the job market so I'm a bit late to this, but in case others haven't seen it, I thought you may find it of interest.

People in Astrophysics have been tracking the job market for years. However, recently social science disciplines have caught on as well. Sociology has a rumor mill as does the field of International Relations within political science. This article from the Chronicle has links to a few others.

It's interesting to compare Sociology to IR. The latter seems much more sophisticated. Then again, they've been around longer. Plus I'm not actually sure if it's "more sophisticated" to be listing the names of the candidates. What do people think? Is it a good idea to have this information out there this public? Why or why not? I can't decide.

I wondered about such possibilities when I was on the market.. but nothing happened that year. Maybe it's just as well. I think some such information exchange is definitely beneficial, but after a certain point it may not be so good for one's health. Then again, the academic job market process generally speaking is pretty unhealthy.


fraud, in denim said...

Hi, NBB!

Can I tell you that I had a dream about you a few weeks back? I somehow found out that you knew where I lived and were on the hunt to find out who I was. It was much scarier than it should have been. If you know who I am, let's just keep that secret between us.

Now about your post. Wow! The information is amazing! That was something that I wished for when I was on the market - particularly some clue about who was hired where, or what searches were a lost cause, etc. I think that I actually like the names better. The sociologists sound so desperate and lost, but at least the IR folks have CVs they can look at to know "who" gets brought in to the top schools or who the hot shots are.

That said, I remember being on an interview last year and finding out who the three other candidates were while I was there (I'd had literally no idea) and I sent myself into a frenzy comparing myself to each of them.

I don't know. Maybe it's the pretty little table, but there's some semblence of order - and progress - on the IR page that I just don't see on the sociology blog or wiki.

Navy Blue Blob said...

Fraud, do you know who I am?! I have no idea who you are! But I guess we like similar colors perhaps.:-) I fear you might know who I am. Otherwise, how do you have a dream about someone you don't know at all?? Or did you mean to say you had a dream about who you think is NBB?

Regarding the blogs, I agree with you, the IR one seems somehow more mature. Then again, to be fair to the sociology group, the IR blog has been around longer (already last year, I think).

As for comparisons, yes, one could drive oneself crazy over this. In reality, the hiring process is not nearly rational enough for a CV comparison to give any hints about much, but that's hard for candidates to understand.

fraud, in denim said...

No, I just remember that somehow I knew that Navy Blue Blob (I think I assumed that you were male, but I don't remember clearly) knew that I was in the vicinity of Timbucktoo and was on the way to find me and I was really scared of what that meant for me and my secret life.

I have no idea who you are - or anyone else. However, I get the sense that a number of posters here are probably in my field, or else academia is just much more similar than I assumed.

strawberries said...

oooh. i want one in my field!
that would make life easier soon.
or maybe it would just make me waste more time online.

and nbb, i always assumed you were male b/c i would read blob as bob.
hmm, maybe i'm dyslexic. or psychic!

fraud, in denim said...

I just always assumed that a woman might choose not to call herself blob, but maybe it is the blob/bob thing. I'm not sure.

Navy Blue Blob said...

FYI, I also read Blob as Bob often so I don't think that activity suggests any irregularity. Alternatively, I share said irregularity. Bob is not my actual name, by the way. But that's not surprising, I'm sure, given that this is a secret blog.

As for fields being similar, I had a good friend in grad school who was in a field that couldn't have been less like my own. Nonetheless, we shared lots of stories about our experiences and it was unbelievable how many things overlapped. So yes, I think academia in general has a lot of similarities regardless of your particular field.

Ms.PhD said...

God, this is amazing.

Something like that would REVOLUTIONIZE my field.

One of my advisors always said that it's the same four people who each get twenty interviews, and I think he was right. Then sixteen schools wait another year and start their search over, instead of taking the fifth or sixth person on their list. A table with names would expose this kind of idiocy, and I would have to wonder if it wouldn't prompt some changes to the way they currently do searches.

But I'm pretty sure I would vomit if I knew who got the interviews for the places I wanted to go... I'm sure this is some kind of really unhealthy denial on my part about how competitive it really is.

For a long time I thought that if I could at least get an interview, I could get a job. I ran into a friend recently who did that- got one interview, at a good place, and as he put it, "didn't fuck it up." Maybe that's all it takes. But I can't imagine the pressure of having your name on one of these sites and then not getting the job... How horrible for those people if that was their only shot.