But you all know that, right?
Today’s news comes from a report on jobs in humanities disciplines over the past 10 years or so. Although most disciplines have seen a sharp drop in hiring, classicists are doing better than most. (I guess I’m not lying when I tell my colleagues that the market looks about the same to me as it always did…)
Still, a few caveats before you decide that the ivory tower is the only life for you:
- Percentage change in jobs in classics is lower than in other disciplines. There are still a lot fewer jobs. There are also a lot fewer classicists, but this study made no attempt to map number of PhDs to number of jobs. A lot of people are still disappointed every year.
- Similarly, this particular study just looked at job ads — they did not look at whether the jobs were tenure-track or visiting (or even one of the few senior positions that come out yearly). Short-term positions need to be advertised more frequently, so it’s possible to interpret the same data as “Classics just went contingent before these other disciplines”. (This AAA&S report suggests that the majority of classics faculty are on the tenure track, but also seems to be more interested in adjunct than visiting positions.)
- Finally, although it’s hard to tell from the graph, jobs are still down by almost 15% since the 2002-3 academic year. That’s better than the 30% average for other disciplines, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at — especially since new PhD programs have also started over the past decade.
Bottom line? There’s a lot more research needed. But points #2 and #3 are also true of the other disciplines studied. So I’m sticking with the idea that we’re doing better.
Quick takes: Classics is better than other humanities disciplines! by https://libraryofantiquity.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.