Arvan’s 2021 Philosophy Jobs Report


How many tenure track positions in philosophy were advertised during the 2020-2021 job market season?

First, it’s important to note the following:

Second, according to a report from Marcus Arvan (Tampa), who regularly tracks this information, there were just 118 such positions.

Here’s the distribution of jobs across broadly construed subfields:

  • Open AOS: 29 jobs (24.6% of all TT jobs advertised)
  • ‘Core areas’ (mind, language, metaphysics, epistemology, logic) = 7.5 jobs
  • Value theory (ethics, social, political, law) = 51.6 jobs (43.7% of TT jobs)
  • Science (including philosophy of technology & AI) = 13.8 jobs (11.7%)
  • History = 7.15 jobs (6.1%)
  • Social identity (race, gender, feminism) = 8 jobs (6.8%)
  • ‘Non-western’: 7.7 jobs (6.5%)
  • Continental philosophy = 1.4 jobs (1.2%)
  • Philosophy of Religion = 1.5 jobs (1.3%)
  • Aesthetics = 0 jobs (1 job in Art History)

For a more detailed breakdown of jobs by subfield, as well as an explanation of Professor Arvan’s methodology (including what the decimals mean), see his full post at The Philosophers’ Cocoon. As he notes, this was a terrible year, largely owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to previous years.

Related: Much Fewer Academic Philosophy Jobs Advertised This Season

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Martin Lenz
22 days ago

Thanks for the figures and the soothing pic! It might be helpful to state whether these figures are for the US or North America only.

Speaking anecdotally, I have seen a lot more openings in Europe.Report

Michel
Michel
Reply to  Martin Lenz
22 days ago

They’re for whatever made it to philjobs.Report

Jordan
Jordan
Reply to  Martin Lenz
21 days ago

There have been quite a few European jobs posted on PhilJobs. I would guess a higher percentage of them are European than in past years, in fact.Report

Walter Veit
Reply to  Jordan
21 days ago

Where to find these European job adverts?Report

Amber Griffioen
Amber Griffioen
Reply to  Martin Lenz
21 days ago

Agreed. And a lot of them don’t strictly correspond to the tenure-track designation since, e.g., here in in Germany we (somewhat unfortunately) don’t operate on a tenure system. I think a lot of publicly (non-tuition) funded educational systems have been advertising at near normal levels. But those markets are already flooded, so it’s not like someone necessarily has a better chance here than in the States right now.Report

WonderingPhilosopherr
WonderingPhilosopherr
Reply to  Martin Lenz
19 days ago

The discussion on Philosophers’ Cocoon includes information about the geographical location of the jobs: https://philosopherscocoon.typepad.com/blog/2021/04/where-the-tt-jobs-werent-in-2020-21.html#comments. As I understand it, all jobs that are posted on Philjobs are part of the data. Since European jobs are more and more posted on Philjobs, I do not believe that many are missing (yet definitely some). Also, the data only include tenure-track jobs (not senior searches). Since this information is posted to help junior philosophers to navigate the job market, I would like to know to which number your claim that you have seen “a lot more openings in Europe” applies. I follow the job market in Europe very closely and I definitely have not seen more than 118 open tenure-track positions in Europe (including the senior searches). If you have, please make your sources available, otherwise junior philosophers might be misled by your claim.Report

Dante
Dante
21 days ago

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrateReport

HELIOS
HELIOS
21 days ago

Aesthetics……Report

Michael
Michael
21 days ago

But epistemology is value theory!Report

Frank
Frank
Reply to  Michael
21 days ago

I don’t know if this is warranted, but it doesn’t really matter if I do.Report

Jen
Jen
Reply to  Frank
20 days ago

But for it to be warranted (if it is) is for there to be something that matters.Report

Last edited 20 days ago by Jen