Chris Blattman

Bleg: Best academic job market advice and resources?


I’m putting together a set of resources for Harris PhDs, and I know some of the good stuff out there, but probably not as much as my readers.

In addition to economics and political science market advice, pointers to job advice for other professional schools (education, public health, law) are welcome.

Also welcome is advice on non-academic positions: consulting, government, beltway bandits, etc.

Or, if you have original advice to offer, please add to the comments or email me.

In addition to advice, please point me to (or share) templates for submission materials, examples of web pages, etc.

The comments section to this post will hopefully become a useful resource, and I will integrate what I find into my job market and other advice posts (at right), as a public good for all.

12 Responses

  1. I wrote a blog post called “How to Find a Job in Statistics”. Much of the advice is actually general advice on career development and the importance of networking, but most employers and career advisors tell me that this is the advice that statistics students need to learn the most.

    Based on the feedback that I have received about this advice column, this unfamiliarity to networking as a skill is quite prevalent among math and science students.

  2. Great idea, looking forward to reading the comments. Would be keen to get some advice on transferring from a specific [non-academic] industry to another (in my case, from international arbitration lawyer to policy / sci pol / political advisory etc. – switching seems to be a lot harder than I initially expected).

  3. The most important thing that students don’t realize: to be ready for the academic job market, you need to start preparing at least two years before you apply to a job. Think backward:
    – September of year Y: application. At that stage, you probably want a publication.
    – June (Y): you get the acceptance for your paper.
    – March (Y): you re-submit your R&R.
    – December of year Y-1: you receive an R&R.
    – September (Y-1): you submit your paper.
    – August (Y-1): you have a polished draft to send (but the editor is on holiday).
    – May (Y-1): you receive final comments and work to finalize the draft.
    – March-April (Y-1): you present the paper at conferences, and edit your draft.
    – January (Y-1): you have a first draft.
    – October (Y-2): you start working on the paper.

    So you need to think two years ahead.

    Another piece of advice: I don’t think people should be shy about pursuing non-academic careers. In fact, the department should help get good non-academic jobs.

  4. I recommend the book “The Professor is In” for advice about preparing for and surviving the job market.

  5. A few things I would suggest include:
    I’ve put together some great resources on jobs in change
    One is For Academic Positions
    The Second is the best meta list in the world of jobs in change
    Third is the social enterprise I founded (as a former academic 10 years at Georgetown have just left GU to focus on scaling GU full-time)

  6. +1 to Rachel’s comment! Because of her presentation at an IGC Growth Week a few years back, I decided I was better positioned in policy, rather than academia.

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