Job Sites for Academics
Paula R. Curtis
September 28, 2020
How do you find academic job advertisements? This is a question often posed to faculty mentors, fellow students, or colleagues when one is “on the market” or will soon be seeking employment. It circulates just as frequently on social media, where many turn to the community at large for assistance, especially those who may also be actively searching for a position or more attuned to job-related digital resources. In the process of collecting job market data for academic positions related to East Asia, I search a number of useful sites for locating positions as they become available. These sites are helpful to know about not only for those who are searching for academic jobs but also for those who may be starting to look elsewhere. Below, I provide a list of these resources with short descriptions of their content.
It is important to remember that not all jobs are posted in the same locations. Some sites allow institutions to advertise for free, while others charge a fee, which can vary from site to site. This means that not all open positions have equitable exposure, and no site can be comprehensive in its offerings. Similarly, some jobs ads circulate purely by word of mouth or via email (and, on occasion, this can be by design in order to limit the number of applicants or target a specific group). The sites I have outlined here are not all geared towards East Asia, although, working in the humanities and social sciences on Asia-related topics, I am also including those I frequent for my own purposes of job searches and data collection. If there are other sites that also fall into this area of interest that would be useful to list here, please feel free to contact me so that they can be added. Although it can seem like an intimidating task, job seekers will want to regularly check all of these sites for the latest advertisements. Relying solely on one or two sites, one might risk missing a job to which they are particularly suited or may want to explore further.
Humanities and Social Sciences Online (H-Net) is a non-profit scholarly association that maintains online networks (online forums and email listservs on many subfields and specific topics) for educators, students, and other professionals. H-Net maintains a job board of advertisements in the humanities from around the world. Institutions and companies must pay per advertisement to appear on the board, but it is free to viewers. The focus tends to be on academic positions such as professorships and postdoctoral fellowships, though sometimes it also contains administrative or editorial jobs. I have found its search feature sometimes iffy, so it’s helpful to check this board regularly.
H-Asia, H-Japan, and other mailing lists
Although it can be an exercise in repetition for those who keep up with the job board, many of the individual H-Net mailing lists also post the “H-Net Job Guide Weekly Report,” summarizing the latest job advertisements under subheadings by field. Subheadings such as “ASIAN HISTORY / STUDIES” or “JAPANESE HISTORY / STUDIES” can be helpful to be sure you haven’t missed something in a field you’re interested in.
Other specialist mailing lists, such as the Premodern Japanese Studies (PMJS), European Association Japanese Studies (EAJS), or Japan Art History Forum (JAHF) listservs, which can share job and postdoc advertisements that sometimes might otherwise not get circulated. I encourage you to find out if your subfield has such an online community.
Association for Asian Studies Job Board (membership required)
The non-profit organization the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) maintains a job board that is available to subscribing members. After logging in, you can search job postings by a variety of specifications, though not every job posting uses all categories. Some jobs, especially those that are in Asia, are seeking Asia specialists in particular but not academic, or are government-oriented, may only post to the AAS job boards. One should be wary, though, that the maximum amount of time a job ad will appear on the board is 90 days, so it’s helpful to check the board regularly and copy any information down for a posting that has a late deadline, as the link to it may disappear.
The JREC-IN Portal site is a Japanese search site (also available in English) that posts jobs for researchers, research assistants, technicians, and other professionals in Japan. The vast majority of job advertisements that go up are related to science and technology studies or laboratory work, but it also features many positions at Japanese universities that are not posted on other widely used sites. Because the postings are only Japan-specific in their location/institution, it may be possible to find other areas of interest, such as hires in Chinese or Korean Studies, linguistics, or interpretation. Remember that the Japanese hiring cycle does not match up with many others, so you may find advertisements there at unexpected times.
On The Chronicle of Higher Education’s job board you’ll find categories for executive, administrative, faculty, and non-academic jobs. It features quite a large number of jobs in Asia, both in Asian Studies and other areas (such as ESL, STS, and more). Some jobs in Asia I’ve seen posted here don’t make it to other boards, particularly recent advertisements for cluster hires at institutions in Korea and Hong Kong. This job board is one that frequently posts rolling applications for adjunct faculty, especially in foreign languages.
The HigherEd Jobs board features administrative, faculty, and executive positions from around the world. You’ll find a healthy mix of traditional academic positions as well as ones for program directors or coordinators, consultants, laboratories, ESL instructors, and more. I’ve found that HigherEd Jobs is also one of the sites that often features rolling applications for adjunct faculty, especially in foreign languages.
As a historian, I was made aware of the American Historical Association (AHA) job board by colleagues in the field, but many of the listings there are not specific to just history. One might find job advertisements in public policy, research and academic programs, museums, or other administrative and academia-adjacent roles. It is useful, however, to find out what your field’s equivalent of the AHA board is, if it has one (for example, the American Academy of Religion job board).
As the site name suggests, jobs.ac.uk provides information on jobs in the United Kingdom. One can search a wide variety of academic disciplines or fields of expertise on the site, and many of the job advertisements found there do not often circulate on other boards or websites, especially those for short-term opportunities.
The University Affairs job board is focused primarily on advertisements within Canada, but also features those outside of North America. Like many of the other sites aimed at a broad audience, one can search for administrative roles, faculty positions, postdoctoral fellowships, or research jobs, and many different postings outside of the humanities are included (though it is possible to narrow by a great number of disciplines in their search options).
The Academic Jobs Wiki has long been a contentious site. The wiki is divided into annual pages for specific disciplines and subfields (see for example, the page for Asian History 2019-2020). Its content is entirely sourced by (sometimes anonymous) users. Typically, people share the labor of putting up job advertisements in their specialization, which can help if an ad appeared on a site that you didn’t know about or didn’t have access to. Then, as the months go on, users who were rejected or received interviews anonymously put up the date of said event under each announcement (often adding something like “x2” or “x3” to add how many of them had the same notification), allowing others to gain a better sense of whether or not they’ve progressed or been rejected. Remember that anything posted is public.
This process is a source of stress for some and source of relief for others. One may find themselves religiously checking the board to find out if they’ve made it into the next round of a job search, generating more anxiety than they might have otherwise felt, or they may find that seeing an anonymous person got the interview when they themselves haven’t heard back after months is a way for the viewer to finally let go of any hopes for that position and move on to something else. Particularly because academic institutions are known for ghosting potential job candidates (although we tend to take this personally when it happens to us, this is sometimes the product of restrictions imposed by HR), the wiki can be very helpful to offset the concern over whether a position has been filled or not. Moderators also try to keep those who post unhelpful or offensive comments to a minimum, but at times abuses of the wiki can happen, given that many people who are feeling the swirl of anxiety and pressure around the academic job market are convening on a forum where information relevant to their futures is concentrated.
Personally, I think that you should decide early on what the right relationship with the jobs wiki is for you. I checked it once a week to avoid the temptation to return every 6 hours. It’s also worth noting, and this is purely anecdotal for Asian Studies, that I have seen a significant decline in participation in the pages relevant to me over the last two years. There is no way to know if the jobs wiki will become less reflective of current job opportunities in the future because of lack of user engagement, but one should not assume that because a job is not listed on the wiki that it does not exist or has been closed.
Finally, I will add that it’s important to make yourself aware of many other opportunities that are outside of academia or are academia-adjacent, which may or may not appear on some of the sites above. On my blog, colleagues and I have also compiled a series of articles describing other sites that can be useful for those in Asian Studies or academia more broadly. Although these resources are focused on Japan-oriented positions, each page includes a different set of helpful sites anyone might be interested in exploring, including but not limited to those on jobs related to: non-profits, academia, bilingual positions, journalism, and more.
Happy hunting, and remember that this process is not one you embark on alone– relying on friends, colleagues, and mentors is crucial to assessing your future directions and handling them in a way that is productive and healthy for you.
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I am grateful to the colleagues on Twitter who added to this list through online exchanges. If there is another site worth including above, please contact me and I will add it to this article.
Last updated 2020.09.28