Academic Jobs in Archaeology- the Competition

Posted on September 4, 2011


I did a quick look at the Academic Archaeology Job wikis and did some data sifting and number crunching:

Number of archaeology tenure track positions in the US and Canada, starting (e.g. assistant professor)-

2007-08: 43

2008-09: 41

2009-10: 25

2010-11: 41

Mentions of the number of candidates for a given postition-

2007-08: N/A

2008-09: 138, 170 (Africanist), 200 applicants

2009-10: 130 (prehistoric), 120 (complex societies of Latin America)

2010-11: 74 (Latin America emphases, includes Caribbean), 170 (broad range)

While not the most complete list of every academic job posted it does give a fairly good picture of the job conditions for new academics. Basically, you are going to be competing against 100-200 other candidates for a tenure track archaeology job in North America AND that is with some very specialized topics. Not much of a surprise since there are only about 20-40 openings each year for entry level tenure track positions.

I wonder how many people realize this before they try to become an academic by getting their PhD?