How Long Between a PhD and Academic Archaeology Job?

Posted on November 23, 2011


How Long Between when one gets a PhD and when one obtains an academic job in archaeology?

Lots of people ask that question so I set out to find the answer, at least for UK based archaeologists. As part of looking at the number of staff positions post I also noted down years staff obtained a job and year they obtain their PhD. Now the records are so and not every department website has this information so I had to look at personal websites and Even then the record is not complete but out of 442 archaeology academic staff in the UK I managed to get this information for 159 (36%). The results are-

Years Between Number of Staff
negative 11 7%
0 23 14%
1 18 11%
2 17 11%
3 10 6%
4 21 13%
5 12 8%
6 4 3%
7 11 7%
8 3 2%
9 9 6%
10+ 20 13%

They range from negative 10 years (yes, they were a lecturer for 10 years before they got their PhD) to 29 years after obtain a PhD. The average was 4.32 years between PhD and permanent academic job. It would seem your best odds to obtain an academic job is within the first few years of obtaining a PhD BUT not all is lost and it is possible to get a job later (3 decades!), but less likely. These numbers are a little more tricky as this ranges from people getting jobs from 1970 to present and there is a difference in the numbers between decades. I will post about that tomorrow.