by Julie Dodd
For graduate students, a strategic aspect of applying for faculty job positions can be reading job announcements several semesters before actually applying for faculty jobs.
By reading job announcements, you can get a better perspective of what faculty jobs include.
- What is the job title — assistant professor, associate professor, visiting professor, lecturer, adjunct, etc. — and is the position tenure-track or not.
- What academic degree is required — or preferred.
- What classes will you be asked to teach.
- What is the course load — meaning how many courses will you teach each semester.
- Will you be expected to develop new courses.
- Will you be expected to conduct research, and, if so, how will that be assessed.
- Will you need to write grants.
- What are the service expectations, including serving on committees.
- Will you be an academic advisor for students.
- Will you serve on thesis and dissertation committees.
- Will you advise student media or student organizations.
- Would you be expected to lead a study abroad group?
The job announcement lets you learn about the department or college and how the program is positioning itself — from being a leader in entrepreneurial media to fostering a diverse student body. You also can learn about the number of students in the program and the number of faculty. You’ll also be able to determine if the college is public or private.
You can find announcements about communications positions on websites for professional organizations and on the websites for colleges, and HR sites for universities. Here are several job posting sites.
Many sites provide search options, letting you search for jobs by academic title (i.e., adjunct, visiting professor, assistant professor, associate professor), or by state, or by academic discipline.
Some job sites provide you the option of uploading your curriculum vitae. Professional organizations typically host job hubs at their conferences — some of those require in-advance registration.
By reading the job announcements, you may determine a trend that might affect the courses you are taking for your graduate program or that could affect your dissertation or thesis research. For example, in the communications field, a trend is for faculty who can teach courses in some new/newer areas — emerging media, social media, big data, coding, or gaming.