I am about to embark on my doctoral coursework in economics. While spending
the last six years as a corporate finance manager I am excited about the
opportunity to research and teach. However I have not yet uncovered any
resources to help new graduates find assistant professor positions. Surely
some school needs an economics professor somewhere. Is there anywhere
I can go for help?
The Career Doctor responds:
The good news for anyone in a doctoral program or contemplating entering a
doctoral program is that demand should be strong in many disciplines
especially as wave after wave of baby boom (and older) professors transition
to part-time status or retirement.
And having the chance to teach empower and interact with some of the future
leaders is one of the greatest benefits of being a college professor. Your
corporate finance experience should be a plus — both in your teaching and in
The academic job market is fairly different than the corporate market. While
many universities do post job listings on their Websites and some also
advertise jobs many of the initial interviews for new assistant professors
are actually conducted at academic conferences. I’ve also found a lot of the
academic market is based on word-of-mouth and referrals.
Since you are just starting your studies the best sources for information are the
professors in your doctoral program. Talk with them about the most important
conferences. While still a student try to get one or more papers accepted at
these conferences — or simply attend — so you can watch the process before
you have to experience it as a job-seeker.
And you can start looking now at job postings to see the types of qualifications
that universities are seeking in assistant professors of economics. And if you
have a specific set of colleges in mind you might start making connections
building your network.