Diverse Teaching Experiences and the Philosophy Job Market

Graduate students in philosophy usually can teach in their own departments, but also sometimes have the opportunity to teach at other schools nearby, including schools very different from the one they’re currently attending.

Is it good for one’s job prospects to take that opportunity? A professor of philosophy recently wrote in with that query:

Does a grad student have a better chance of getting a job if that student has teaching experience at more than one institution? Would/Do people working at institutions with grad programs advise their grad students to seek adjuncting experience at other institutions prior to the time that they’re ready to go on the full time job market? 

We can ask about whether having taught anywhere besides one’s home institution as a grad student is helpful on the job market, and also ask about whether having taught at institutions rather different from their own (such as a community college) is helpful.

I suspect that search committees at community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, or colleges with distinct populations (such as a high number of first-generation college students) would count a candidate’s having taught at a school like theirs a plus. But it would be best to hear from those who’ve been on search committees for such institutions over the past several years to see whether this is really the case, and how much of a difference it tends to make.

And if anyone knows of any data that would be relevant to this, please share it.

Installation by John Breed

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