17 Nov 2010

Career opportunities are scarce in the current economic climate, and the situation is likely to get worse in the coming 'age of austerity'. So any help one can get in the moment of finding a job is welcome. Here we will focus on academic jobs, although there are other opportunities that graduates can consider, such as working for the public sector (unlikely in the near future), consultancy, the EU or even in the third sector.

In a future post we will talk about where to look for scholarships/fellowships and also about where to find advice on how to write a cover letter or on how to design your CV.

Trying to find jobs in academia is easier in some countries than others. For instance, in the UK the web page jobs.ac.uk centralises virtually all the positions available. It includes faculty positions, doctoral and post-doctoral positions, temporary and long-term jobs. It is easy to navigate and it is even possible to sign up for regular emails.

In other countries there are web pages providing similar services. For instance in the Netherlands there is Academic Transfer. At the European level the era careers web pages are supposed to perform a similar role but their effectiveness varies. The Portuguese (http://www.eracareers.pt/) and the Spanish (www.eracareers.es/fecyt) for instance, are quite comprehensive, but others do not work so well. There is also a EU level page, whose aim is to promote mobility between countries (http://www.academicjobseu.com/).

In the North American market job searches are a trickier task. Usually the best places to find jobs is on the websites of professional associations, such as the AAG for Geography, ACSP for Planning, or ASA for Sociology. The problem is that access to their job bank usually implies paying membership fees, except on the ACSP web page. Below you can see a snapshot of positions that are currently being advertised on the latter.

The site www.higheredjobs.com is another option, although it's better for some disciplines than others. In Canada there are also sites that aggregate most academic positions, such as http://www.universityaffairs.ca/ (shown below), or http://www.career.edu/.

A final way of learning about open positions is by joining mailing lists specialised in your field. In the web page of the Economic Geography Research Group (www.egrg.org.uk/list.html) there are instructions about how to join both the RGS-IBG and the AAG mailing lists for Economic Geography. If you click here you'll find other available lists in the UK.

This is by no means a list of all possible routes for finding jobs but we hope it can help you get started. Good luck!