Research | Writing | Digital Humanities | Biblical Studies

SBL Releases Jobs Data from 2000-2010

graphThe SBL has posted Jobs Data here. As you would suspect, the data reflect a sharp decrease in tenure-track hiring around 2008, around the same time as the global economic downturn. A few tidbits:

In 2008 81.6% of positions listed were tenure track, but in 2009 51.1% were listed as tenure track and in 2010 61.0% were listed as tenure track.

…These findings may indicate that the job market for the 2009 academic year fundamentally changed, not only shrinking but reconfiguring with a greater emphasis on non-tenure-track employment. Hiring at the end of 2010 indicates an upward trend, but it is significantly down from historic highs. Hires for new positions accounted for 37.9% of positions from 2001 through 2007…

The data also support what most have been saying about academic employment in biblical studies:

…candidates should focus on acquiring a Ph.D., obtaining teaching experience, and ensuring that interdisciplinary teaching or research is part of their repertoire.

…The overwhelming majority of positions, averaging 66.9% from 2001 through 2007, require—not simply desire—a Ph.D. and 69.2% of positions either require or desire prior teaching experience. While only 9.7% of positions require interdisciplinary teaching or research, 25.2% desired evidence of the skill or experience.

A few other notes:

Positions at Special Focus institutions and Doctorate-granting institutions report the lowest course load at 5.0 and 5.1 courses per annum. Associate institutions report 5.4 courses per annum, while Baccalaureate institutions report 5.9 courses per annum. Master’s institutions reported the highest course load at 6.7 courses per annum.

Most hires would teach three to six courses per annum: 77.6% of not-for-profit institution ads and 77.2% of public institution ads indicated that hires would teach three to six courses per annum. Not-for-profit institutions, however, more frequently indicated a higher course load: 66.5% of not-for-profit institution ads indicated that hires would teach five to eight courses per annum, which compares with 51.8% of public institutions ads.

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