TL;DR: The academic job market is looking bleaker than ever, and name brand recognition counts for a lot.
- Step 1: College Student, study hard.
- Step 2: Graduate Student, study hard, do research.
- Step 3: Postdoc, work hard, more reasearch, prove your chops.
- Step 4: Proffesor, kick back and relax, you’re set for life.
Ah, if only.
The postings have begun for this year’s set of junior and tenure track faculty positions. This affects me directly, since I’m somewhere around step 3.5. The truth of the matter, is that the job market for faculty positions is amazingly competitive, with few offerings and a sea of prospective applicants. A while ago, stuck at home while both Laureline and Jenn were sick as dogs, I had a little fun with the information up on the HEP Rumor Mill. The HEP Rumor Mill is exactly what it sounds like, completely unverified rumors about who has been short listed or made an offer high energy particle physics faculty jobs. They’ve got one page per year, going back to the 2004-2005 job cycle. All it requires to get the data is writing quick and dirty unstructured data parser. Ithought I’d share some of what I found. Note that all of what comes out of this is highly suspect. The short-lists and offers are un-verified, the names of candidates are sometimes misspelled, and I even caught one of two instances of someone’s affiliation being improperly reported.