[Computational Complexity] The Job Market
- Bill's post Monday of a Michigan post-doc position garnished quite a few comments, generated by legitimate worries about the academic job market.
1992 was the single worst year so far in the CS faculty job market. Many of our students applied to 100-200 schools. Very few got good jobs and several others either left academics or took jobs at departments at levels well below their capabilities.
That bad job market discouraged many from getting Ph.D.s in computer science. But those who did graduated in the middle of the dot-com boom when CS jobs were relatively plentiful. The moral: Don't let today's job market determine whether you consider graduate school. By the time you finish your Ph.D. and a postdoc position, the recession should be well over and the first wave of theoretical computer scientists will start retiring.
That's little comfort for those searching for a faculty job this year. I expect this year's academic job market to be much worse than 1992, not just in theoretical computer science but in all academic disciplines. At Northwestern "hiring into new positions will be deferred as much as possible, while hiring into vacated positions will be carefully scrutinized to ensure that the prospective candidates present significant opportunities that might not be available in the future" and we are one of the healthiest financially. Harvard is freezing both hiring and faculty salaries. I'm hearing of many schools that plan to cut salaries.
Best suggestion is to ride it out. Take another postdoc or other temporary position. Consider jobs outside of North America. The disappearing slots will have to be filled once the economy rebounds and no one will hold it against you that you were unable to secure a US faculty job in 2009.
Posted By Lance to Computational Complexity at 12/11/2008 06:20:00 AM