Should I go Another Year on the Academic Job Market?
Make an informed decision about your career path moving forward

  • What to Consider as You Calculate the Costs of Staying Another Year in Academia
  • The Impacts of Staying in an Adjunct Position on Your Personal and Career Goals
  • The Cost of Staying in a Postdoc Position
  • Important Considerations for International Students
  • Questions to Help You Determine if an Extra Year Will Make You a Competitive Candidate
  • Re-Evaluate Your Options Using Your Optimal Career Pathway

About this lesson

Most PhD students and postdocs earned a PhD because they wanted to be a university professor. But today’s tenure-track job market is highly competitive, and in today’s creative economy, PhDs find gainful, meaningful employment in a wide variety of fields, some inside higher ed and many outside of it. But how do you decide what the right path for you is? That’s where our pivot module comes in. If you’ve decided to leave academia (for whatever reason) or are open to the idea of a nonacademic job, the lessons in our pivot module can help you make an informed decision about what is right for you.

If you’ve gone on the academic job market and don’t land a tenure-track position, you’re probably wondering if you should stay in academia (giving the higher ed job market another go-round) or if you should leave.

If that’s the spot you find yourself in, this lesson is for you. It gives you some facts about the economic costs of staying in academia without a tenure-track job and helps you re-evaluate your employment options. If you do decide to pivot out of academia, our How to Pivot lesson will also help.

Workbook Activities

This lesson covers pages 5-11 in the Pivot Stage Workbook. You can also use the Take Notes widget to complete these activities.  

  1. What would your salary be if you stayed another year on the academic job market? Is this salary enough to cover your expenses?
  2. What are your personal and career goals? Ie. do you want to buy a house, or move closer to family? Do you want to pay off debt, or start saving for retirement? Do you want to expand your family? What does staying in academia an additional year mean for you in terms of being able to meet those goals?
  3. Research who was hired for the positions you had applied to when you went on the academic job market. Based on who was hired, their level of experience, and their credentials, would an additional year help you become a more competitive candidate?
  4. Based on your experience on the academic job market, do the opportunities available align with your Optimal Career Pathway? Is a faculty career still the right fit for you?

Do you have a question for the Beyond the Professoriate team? Send us an email

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Beyond Prof's training platform is easy to navigate. Students can move between lessons within each course.

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Timestamps allow learners to quickly access information to move them forward in their job search.

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To encourage active learning, Beyond Prof's training platform includes a Take Notes widget with prepopulated questions and exercises. Students type directly into the widget while watching the video, and then print or save their notes.

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Pivot out of Academia

The academic job market is more competitive than ever. If a doctoral student or postdoc is unsuccessful in securing an academic position, they may wonder if they should go on the academic job market again. This course helps learners evaluate their career and financial goals, the cost of precariat academic positions, and to begin exploring nonacademic career options.

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