East Asia-related Job Market Data Report (2022-2023)

Published August 7, 2023

This page compiles information and visualizations on academic-oriented job postings related to East Asia during the 2022-2023 hiring season (from approximately June 2022 to July 2023). For more information on how and why I began this project, please see my first visualization page for the 2019-2020 academic job cycle.

For the sake of convenience and to address any changes in my methods since last year, I will reproduce my explanations on data collection from last year’s cycle below, and mark new elements in bold and/or with a star ★.

To jump directly to the visualizations, click here.

I hope that the information provided on this page will facilitate further dialogue on current and future developments in the East Asian Studies fields and will be used by departments and individuals to advocate for this area of study at their institutions. If you have any questions about the data or would like to request specific visualizations for departmental reports, grant requests, or other proposals (or have used my work for this purpose already), please do not hesitate to contact me.

I am also presently collecting information on East Asia-related job advertisements for the 2023-2024 academic cycle. If you see a relevant ad not already included in the data in progress filter table, particularly for institutions outside the Anglophone world, please use the following form to contribute to the dataset:


About the Data: Sources

The data gathered for this exploration originated from numerous websites (★ represent those sources that were newly incorporated this job cycle):

This data should NOT be considered 100% comprehensive (see caveats below), merely reflective of information provided on some of the most commonly-used job search portals for academic postings related to East Asia by scholars (often in Anglophone circles).

About the Data: Caveats

As with previous reports, I begin by noting that data is messy. This is a reflection of the job ads themselves, which are even messier. A job ad might ask for something fairly specific, like a historian of contemporary China focusing on the environmental humanities, or simply list “East Asian Studies” with no additional information on a desired time period, specialization, or other qualifications. Because job ads are inconsistent in the terminology used to describe some academic positions, I have chosen not to do a vocabulary-based comparison on desired disciplinary expertise here. However, if you are interested in exploring the key terms that appeared in job ads for the 2022-2023 market cycle, you can find a searchable table of them here. For the purposes of producing this dataset, job ad language was taken at face value, and cannot account for any internal criteria that informed the scope of searches. How data is represented is also interpreted through the compiler. Others might have organized or categorized this data differently than I have.

Although I continue to increase the number of sources I use to locate job advertisements and solicit postings from colleagues outside of primarily English-speaking areas, the data presented here is also reflective of both an English-language and North American bias. Many of the sites examined tend to focus on those positions, and job advertisements presented in other languages are only infrequently submitted to these venues. Some postings also may pass through informal means (such as mailing lists) only or through alternative lists to which I do not have access. Furthermore, some schools either do not or cannot afford to post their job openings through more widely-known channels.

This list is not exhaustive with regards to jobs that one might consider “alt-ac” or “academic adjacent,” as I focused to the best of my ability on those ads that readily circulated on academic job searching platforms.

This year I incorporated job advertisements posted roughly between June 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023. This will be the first year that I am able to do a 3-year comparison, though data from the last two years should be considered the most accurate. This is not only because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the job market, but also because some job ad platforms were only later added, though I have done my best to include as much older data as was available when re-cleaning corpora from previous years.

About the Data: Cleaning and Organization

In an effort to produce meaningful visualizations comparing different job ads, I created eight different data categories. To review what each category and its accompanying labels mean (and how they were determined), click the individual tabs below.

The geographic location of the hiring institution.
The continental region in which the hiring institution is located.
The geographic regional coverage for which the job ad identified a preference. East Asian Studies and many humanities fields cite a primary region or nation of interest in their advertisements, whereas many social science fields have begun to replace regional or national focus with methodological preferences.

This category was narrowed down from the ad content when possible. For example, if an ad listed “East Asian Studies/Asian Studies” for the title or topic of the position, but specified “preference for a candidate who can teach modern China,” then this posting’s “desired region” was labeled as “China.” Ads that included a particular combination of locations are identified separately. This year I refined these categories to reflect distinctions between ads that use "or" and "and" when requesting regional specializations in order to make more clear whether two options or both options are preferred. I also added more specificity to broad regional desires (such as "East Asia/Asia and South Asia"). Northeast Asia was the central focus of job data collected, though ads that had and/or and another broad regional category note the other preference as well. Job ads that were vague, such as positions in “non-Western” or “global” studies were not included. Job ads that listed three or more regional interests were not included for lack of specificity. Relevant Desired Region categories that have not yet appeared in the data do not appear below.

- Asia (Pacific)
- Asia (Pacific) and Africa
- Asia (Pacific) and Middle East
- China
- China and Africa
- China and Asia (Pacific)
- China and Global South
- China and Japan
- China and Korea
- China and South Asia
- China and Southeast Asia
- China and Taiwan
- East Asia, Asia
- East Asia/Asia and Africa
- East Asia/Asia and Global South
- East Asia/Asia and Latin America
- East Asia/Asia and South Asia
- East Asia/Asia and Southeast Asia
- East Asia/Asia or Africa
- East Asia/Asia or Global South
- East Asia/Asia or Latin America
- East Asia/Asia or Middle East
- East Asia/Asia or South Asia
- East Asia/Asia or Southeast Asia
- Hong Kong
- Hong Kong and China
- Japan
- Japan and Korea
- Japan or Korea
- Japan or Middle East
- Japan or Southeast Asia
- Korea
- Taiwan

Data on the desired discipline identified in job ads was divided into labels that best distinguish the responsibilities of the position, based on the department hiring and/or description of the qualifications. Disciplines for which few postings were area-specific or that often advertise together (such as Political Science, Anthropology, and Sociology) are combined in the interest of visual legibility. The social sciences, in particular, pose challenges to data collection, as they do not often advertise region- or nation-specific positions and commonly list multiple disciplines together.

Another challenge division is “Literature & Culture” and “East Asian/Asian Studies.” Often generalist positions in East Asian Studies are filled by specialists in literature and culture, complicating this distinction. Here, I have chosen to separate general positions that do not list a specific interest in literature/culture from job ads that specifically ask for a literature/culture specialist. Similarly, although there is often overlap between generalist instructors and language instructors (particularly at smaller institutions), the “Language” category applies to jobs looking primarily for language instructors, and those ads seeking sub-specialization in Translation, Interpretation, or Linguistics (which are more likely than Language to be tenure track) are separate categories.

- Administration, Program Director
- Any
- Archaeology
- Art History, Architecture, Urban Studies
- Business, Economics
- Digital Studies
- East Asian Studies, Asian Studies
- Editorial
- Education
- Environmental Studies
- Film Studies, Media Studies
- Geography
- History
- Language
- Law
- Librarian, Library Services
- Linguistics
- Literature & Culture
- Museum, Curator, Conservation
- Music, Musicology
- Performing Arts, Drama
- Philosophy
- PoliSci, Anthro, Socio
- Public Health
- Public History
- Religious Studies
- Translation, Interpretation
The time period of the specialist desired in the job advertisement.

- modern
- premodern (early modern [c. 18th/19th cen] and before)
- any (not specified or no preference)
- N/A (e.g.: most language instructors, administrative positions, etc.)
The track/security of the position. Contingent positions have been divided into jobs that are non-tenure track positions and postdocs, as the former typically applies to visiting or contracted positions and the latter often applies to research positions, sometimes with minimal teaching responsibilities. Adjunct positions, being extremely difficult to track and variable in their contract terms, are not included in this data.

- TT (tenure track)
- non-TT (non-tenure track, contingent position; at least 1 year of full time job security)
- postdoc (non-tenure track, contingent position)
- N/A (jobs to which the specification of tenure or non-tenure track does not apply)

The labeling of institutions is based on its research output and degree-granting programs. This is perhaps the most problematic of the data organized, as, for the sake of comparison, each institution has been forced to fit into the rough equivalent of the US categories developed for The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Carnegie classifications do NOT consistently correlate with institutional rankings (also problematic). For UK-based institutions, I established R1 equivalents roughly based on the Russell Group categories. For Australian institutions, I drew on the Group of Eight. For Chinese institutions, I referred to current and defunct national funding initiatives such as the C9 League, the Double First Class University Plan, Project 985, and Project 211, as well as interpretive approaches based on the technical nature of the school's programs and overall diversity of doctoral or Master's programs. For other areas of Europe and Asia I consulted with colleagues based in those regions and provided a best guess based on advice. I fully acknowledge that these distinctions are problematic and often subjective.

The most meaningful observations may be derived from considering the extremes—whether jobs appear more often at very large doctoral degree-granting institutions or small liberal arts institutions. In addition, the SLAC (small liberal arts college) category expanded this year to become SLAC/Bacc, recognizing the diversity of four-year baccalaureate institutions globally, particularly in China where, in contrast to locations like the United States, four year schools may have tens of thousands of students.

Outside of conventional four year and postgraduate schools, there are also categories for institutions where jobs are available that may be outside the academic or tenure-track system. "Institute" may refer to research organizations, think tanks or other academic-oriented programs that are not explicit extensions of government programs. Such institutions are separately labeled "government."

- R1 - very high research, doctoral program
- R1 regional branch - branch campuses of R1 institutions located in the US or abroad
- R2 - high research, doctoral program
- D/PU - Doctoral/Professional Universities
- M1 - high research, masters program
- M2 - medium research, masters program
- SLAC/Bacc - small liberal arts college or four-year undergraduate institution
- museum
- non-profit
- government
- institute
- N/A

The type of institution. N/A indicates it is something different from a typical academic degree-granting institution, such as a language training school, etc.

- public
- private
- N/A

The Data

Please review the caveats and labeling system provided above before viewing the data in order to best understand how and why it has been cleaned and organized as presented below.

Please note that although comparisons will be made with the last two years of data, I work to improve my data collection methods every year, so one should be cautious not to interpret these numbers as absolute or infallible. Furthermore, for this analysis, I have also updated the previous two years of data to the best of my ability to account for newly incorporated job search websites and to provide more accurate multi-year comparisons. Past annual reports will be updated after this report is complete to reflect corrected data.

Comments specially on multi-year data comparisons will be marked in blue to help visually distinguish commentary on long-term trends.

Below, I have created several (non-exhaustive) visualizations based on my data using Tableau Public. All data visualizations, particularly interactive ones, will be best viewed in a browser. Please also note that postdocs were counted by the number of positions offered at a single university. For example, Yale University’s Council on East Asian Studies hires four postdocs per year for its general CEAS postdoc, so this is counted as four positions.

Although job data comparisons at a global scale can be problematic given the sometimes vast differences between each country’s (or even institution’s) academic systems, I have done my best to create data categories that can reflect rough equivalencies. Each individual section will make special note of this when it needs to be addressed. The report is dense and readers often come to it seeking information on a specific discipline, period, location, or other tailored information. I have therefore included a jump navigation below for those who wish to navigate in a non-linear fashion.


Map: Desired Discipline, Track, & Location
Desired Region
East Asian Studies and Literature & Culture
Time Period
School Type
Top Hiring Institutions
A Glimpse into Digital Labor


The data collected for the 2022-2023 academic job cycle totaled 1,011 job advertisements globally. This marks an increase of just 9 job ads from the year prior.1 The 2020-2021 cycle, which has slightly less accurate data and also reflects the COVID-19 hiring freeze, had 674 job ads.

Of the 2022-2023 advertisements, 513 ads (50.7%) were openings at North American institutions. Institutions in Asia were the second highest employer, accounting for 376 ads (37.2%), whereas Europe offered only 104 positions (10.3%). There were 7 ads in Oceania, 2 ads in Africa, and 9 ads with no particular continental region specified (e.g. remote postdocs not tied to an institution).

These trends are roughly in keeping with the last two years of job advertisements. In the 2021-2022 cycle, North America was the dominant employer with 484 ads, or 48.3% of posts, followed by Asia with 370 ads, or 36.9%, and Europe with 137 ads, or 13.7%. This means that only Europe saw a slight decline in the overall number of advertisements this year. Oceania featured 8 ads last year. Notably, the 2022-2023 cycle is the first time in the past three years that jobs for East Asian Studies have been featured in Africa, one being a political science role on Asian security at American University in Cairo and the other being a Korean language position at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco.

Given the challenges of 2020-2021’s job cycle, comparisons are slightly less meaningful for the full three-year stretch, but it is worth noting that North America appears to have seen the largest recovery in hiring after the pandemic hiring freeze, while Europe has seen a slight decline in hiring.

North America continues to host roughly half of all East Asian Studies hires worldwide. It also accounts for over half of all contingent job hires. In North America and Europe only roughly 30% of hires are tenure track, whereas in Asia it is closer to 40% (though likely is higher). Europe saw a significant decline in the number and permanence of jobs.

If we consider continental region hires for 2022-2023 by track, we find that globally 352 jobs (34.8%) were tenure-track (or roughly tenure-track equivalent), 525 jobs (51.9%) were contingent (non-TT or postdocs), and 134 (13.3%) were in the N/A category. The N/A category often accounts for positions that require East Asia/Asia-related expertise but fall outside the tenure system, such as administrative roles, some library or museum positions, etc.

This year, North America, with 274 contingent ads, accounted for 52.2% of the total 525 contingent ads worldwide. This is roughly the same as last year’s 54% of all contingent positions (275 of the total of 509 contingent ads). North America thus still accounts for over half of all contingent ads in East Asian Studies. In contrast, Asia advertised 187 contingent positions (35.6% of the global total) and Europe 51 positions (9.7%).

If we drill down on each continental region, 152 ads (29.6%) in North America were for tenure-track roles and 274 ads (53.4%) were contingent (192 non-TT, 82 postdocs). 87 ads (17%) were N/A. Since 2020 there has been slow but incremental improvement in the percent of tenured vs. contingent roles in North America, with 21.1% TT and 66.8% contingent jobs in the 2020-2021 cycle and 27.5% TT and 56.8% contingent positions in the 2021-2022 cycle.

Within Asia, 160 ads (42.6%) were for tenure-track roles and 187 ads (49.7%) were for contingent roles (147 non-TT, 40 postdocs). 32 ads (7.7%) were for N/A. The data for Asia has two important caveats. First, jobs in Japan are more readily advertised through jRec-in, a widely-used central database for academic job advertisements, whereas Chinese and Korean institutions tend to release annual batch advertisements in their respective languages that are not widely circulated to Anglophone circles or hire candidates internally. This creates a significant imbalance in representation. Second, in the case of China, the widely advertised jobs are primarily for one-year contracts recruiting foreign language teachers, which somewhat skews contingent data. Still, we find the overall ratios by track are more or less consistent with previous years, in that Asia has much closer to a 50:50 ratio of tenure track to contingent positions than other regions, though tenure track roles have very slightly declined each year; in 2021-2022 48.6% of advertisements were tenure-track and 46.5% were contingent and in 2020-2021 it was 47.3% TT vs. 47.3% contingent.

Looking to Europe, 35 ads (33.7%) were for tenure-track positions and 51 ads (49%) were for contingent positions (20 non-TT, 31 postdoc). 18 ads were N/A. Note that the primacy of the postdoctoral system made it the only continental region where the number of postdocs exceeds the number of non-TT roles. Compared to previous years, the number and percent of TT positions declined, with 44.5% TT and 40.1% contingent in 2021-2022 and 42%.8 TT and 50% contingent in 2020-2021. The number of tenure track jobs in Europe dropped from 61 ads to 35 ads this year, a roughly 43% decrease. In Europe, therefore, not only did the total number of available positions decline over the last three years, but secure positions also significantly decreased. As with previous years, the vast majority of positions were located in the United Kingdom, having 70 of the 104 advertisements (67.3%) this year.

Oceania had 7 advertisements (6 in Australia and one in New Zealand). 4 of the ads were tenure-track (or TT equivalent), 2 ads were postdocs, and 1 ad was non-TT. Last year 7 of the 8 advertisements were TT and in the 2020-2021 cycle 7 of the 11 ads were TT. Though the small number of advertisements makes it difficult to draw significant conclusions, we do see a decrease in permanent jobs.

Of the two jobs featured in Africa this year, one was TT and one was non-TT.

Map: Desired Discipline, Track, & Location

The following visualization is an interactive map of all East Asia-related job postings for the 2022-2023 academic job market cycle by discipline, time period, track, and location. Clicking on information anywhere on the visualization or on the map below will generate its linked data across other fields. Hover over data points on the map to reveal information on the data point provided. Zooming in or out is also possible. Points on the map are sized to frequency, so a place with more job postings will appear larger than other locations.

Click the title of the subcategory you're filtering or the area of the visualization you originally selected to void your selection and start over. Tableau can be finicky, so it may take a little experimentation. If interactive visualizations lag or generate an error, please refresh this page and try again. If an institution is listed in an unusual area, it may be that they are hiring someone for an overseas residency positions (e.g. University of North Georgia hiring for a resident director in Taiwan).

Desired Region

Globally, the most jobs were advertised for Japanese Studies specialists, followed closely by Chinese Studies specialists. The slight preference for Japan over China is a reversal from the prior two years. There was no significant change in the amount of East Asia/Asia generalist positions. Jobs in Korean Studies, having somewhat increased in number, are roughly 1/3rd that of Chinese or Japanese Studies.

If we consider the region of specialization desired by the advertising department (including positions that do not necessarily fall into primarily academic fields), expertise in Japan was the leading area of interest, followed closely by China and then East Asia/Asia in general. Korean Studies, though continuing to lag behind China and Japan, saw an increase from approximately 1/4th the number of jobs in these areas to approximately 1/3rd.

If we were to remove disciplinary categories that might not fall into the conventional disciplinary roles that align with the tenure track (e.g. Administration, Program Director; Editorial, Language; Translation, Interpretation; Museum, Curator, Conservation; Librarian, Library Sciences), then the roles would reverse for China (208 ads) and Japan (179 ads), while Korea jobs would plummet by more than half (48 ads). The large number of jobs for Japan specialists within Japan significantly impacts these numbers.

Looking at each continental region separately and with all disciplinary categories included, jobs in North America looking strictly for China specialists outnumber that of Japan, with 168 ads to 135 ads. The gap for Korea also narrows, with 71 ads. For Europe, China far outpaces Japan, with 42 ads versus 16 ads (and 7 ads for Korea). Contrast these both with Asia, where ads for Japan total 181 posts versus 112 for China (and 26 ads for Korea). These regional preferences by continent also held true last year, though in the 2020-2021 cycle China outperformed Japan in all three of these continental areas.

Of the 1,011 positions advertised in the 2022-2023 market cycle, 234 ads (23.1%) desired more than one regional specialization. This is fairly consistent with 2020-2021 (22.5%) and 2021-2022 (24.2%). Across all three years there have been between 23-26 distinct regional categories (including those that ask for “Place 1 AND Place 2” and “Place 1 OR Place 2”) in East Asian Studies job advertisements. This year there were 3 advertisements for a combination of expertise in East Asia/Asia and Africa as well as 4 advertisements for one or the other. This is roughly the same as last year, which had 4 advertisements of a combination of both, 2 advertisements for either/or, 1 advertisement for Asia (Pacific) or Africa, and 1 advertisement for China and Africa. In 2020-2021 there was only East Asia/Asia or Africa position and 2 China and Africa positions. This year there was a notable uptick in the positions that sought an East Asia-related specialization or Middle East specialization, with 8 ads total. Last year there were 2 such ads, though there were 4 in 2020-2021. There were 5 ads this year for East Asia/Asia or Latin America (last year 1 ad for "or", 1 ad for "and"; two years ago 1 ad for "or").

There were 9 job advertisements for East Asia/Asia-related areas in combination with South, Southeast Asia, or the Global South. This is a slight decline from the past two years, both of which featured 15 advertisements respectively. The positions desirous of South/Southeast Asian expertise were located in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.

Desired Discipline

The visualizations in the section below reflect job advertisements globally and provide a selection of comparative perspectives across regional and disciplinary specialization, with some more specific examples focusing on Northeast Asia and the humanities.

Language was by far the most in demand discipline by a wide margin. It was followed by the Political Science/Anthropology/Sociology and the East Asian Studies generalist category. The order of demand for disciplines remained unchanged over the past three years.

Language was by far the most in demand discipline worldwide this year, accounting for 239 ads, or 23.6% of all job advertisements. This was followed by the combined Political Science/Anthropology/Sociology category, which had 140 ads, or 13.8%. Generalist East Asian Studies positions came in third with 120 ads (11.9%), with History (78 ads, 7.7%) and Literature & Culture (68 ads, 6.7%) trailing behind them. The order of demand for these disciplines as well as the high demand for language training, remained consistent globally across the last three years.

If we were to roughly divide our categories into conventional “humanities”-oriented disciplines2 and “social sciences”-oriented disciplines3, the humanities roles combined far exceed that of the social sciences, with 464 ads (45.9% of all ads) compared to 165 ads (16.3% of all ads). And yet, upon a disciplinary breakdown, the PoliSci/Anthro/Socio category outpaces other non-Language disciplines as a single (if combinatory) category, edging out the other combined category of East Asian Studies.

Speaking from a continental perspective, Literature & Culture took a particular steep dive in North America and Europe, having only 18 advertisements in North America and only 2 advertisements in Europe. Europe differed from other continental areas in that Language was not the most in-demand discipline, having only 9 advertisements. In Asia, however, Literature & Culture was second only to Language, having 48 advertisements. These trends are relatively consistent across the last three years.

Desired Discipline by Regional Expertise

Turning to disciplinary demand at a global level by the desired regional expertise, language instruction (addressed in detail below) was the highest demand across all desired regions of China, Japan, and Korea. This trend is consistent across three years.

In the visualizations in this section, the categories of “China,” “Japan,” and “Korea” will include any advertisement that named that country (e.g. a “China and Japan” region will be counted in both the “China” and “Japan” sections).

With Language as the most demanded category for China regional specialization at 65 ads (19.3% of all China specialist ads), the top three disciplines were the combined Political Science/Anthropology/Sociology category following very close behind (60 ads, or 17.8% of all China-specific positions), the History category (36 ads, or 10.7%), and the generalist East Asian/Asian Studies category (35 ads, or 10.4%).

In the previous year, Language was significantly stronger than other categories, accounting for 17.8% of advertisements while the next three categories were nearly equal to one another, with History at 11.9%, East Asian/Asian Studies at 11.4%, and PoliSci/Anthro/Socio at 11.1%. 2020-2021 was somewhat similar, with Language at 17.2%, History 13%, PoliSci/Anthro/Socio at 12.3%, and East Asian/Asian Studies at 11.9%. We therefore find that Political Science/Anthropology/Sociology and History have tended to rise to the top for China specialist positions.

Of all China specialist positions globally this year, 109 ads (32.3%) were tenure track, 126 ads (37.4%) were non-TT, 58 ads (17.2%) were postdocs, and 44 ads (13.1%) were N/A. 54.6% of the China-related ads were therefore contingent. If we were to discount Language positions that skew the data somewhat towards contingency, 37.5% were TT and 46.4% were contingent.

In the case of Japan specialist jobs, Language had a significant number of positions compared to all other disciplines categories, with 129 ads, or 36.9% of all Japan-related positions. The top three categories after Language were East Asian/Asian Studies (48 ads, or 13.7%), Literature & Culture (39 ads, or 11.1%), and Linguistics (23 ads, or 6.6%). As previously mentioned, we should keep in mind that job ads for positions in Japan, which are more readily discoverable, can heavily influence this data. If we removed those positions from the dataset, our disciplinary categories would shift to Language (still far ahead of all categories by a factor of 3x or 4x), East Asian Studies, PoliSci/Anthro/Socio, and Any discipline (typically postdocs).

If we compare these trends to previous years, the 2021-2022 cycle saw Literature & Culture (15%) East Asian Studies (14.4%) at the top after Language, but History was next with 7.6% of all Japan-related jobs. Even if jobs located in Japan were removed, it would still be EAS (15.7%), Lit & Culture (6.1%) and History (5.7%). For 2020-2021, the percentages were similar, but with PoliSci/Anthro in place of History with 5.8% of ads. We therefore find that humanities-oriented disciplines such as East Asian/Asian Studies and Literature & Culture tend to rise to the top for Japan specialist positions.

Of all Japan specialist positions globally, 126 ads (36%) were tenure track, 147 ads (42%) were non-TT, 41 ads (11.7%) were postdocs, and 36 ads (10.3%) were N/A. 52.7% of the Japan-related ads were therefore contingent. If we were to discount Language positions that skew the data somewhat towards contingency, 46.6% were TT and 37.2% were contingent. Were we also to remove jobs in Japan, TT positions would drop to 38.6% and contingent positions would rise to 47.4%.

In Korean Studies, which has been historically underrepresented among East Asian Studies hires and institutional support, the total number of job postings increased from 92 ads last year to 115 ads this year. Outside of Language the top three disciplines for a Korea regional specialization for 2022-2023 were East Asian Studies (15 ads, or 13%), PoliSci/Anthro/Socio (11 ads, or 9.6%), and Any (that is, no preference; 10 ads, or 8.7%). This “Any” category included mostly postdoctoral roles but also at least one tenure track position (located in South Korea).

Last year the top three categories were the same, with roughly the same ratios of 15.2% EAS, 6.5% PoliSci/Anthro/Socio, and 5.4% Any. In 2020-2021, East Asian Studies positions actually exceeded Language by about 5%, and Literature & Culture just barely edged out the Any category. As for the disciplinary diversity of offerings in Korean Studies, there were 13 categories this year, 15 categories last year, and 11 categories in 2020-2021.

Of the positions offered globally, 30 ads (26.1%) were tenure track, 52 ads non-TT (45.2%), 17 ads postdocs (14.8%), and 16 ads N/A (14%). This meant that 26.1% of ads were tenure track and 60% were contingent. If Language were removed, the percentages would shift to 41.8% TT and 36% contingent, which is actually a slight improvement over the balance of more secure roles for China and Japan jobs. Korea specialist options continue to be sparse by comparison, but may suggest longer term investment in the growth of the field.

On the whole, Japan specialist jobs had the highest rate of tenure track or TT equivalent ads, with 35.8% of global tenure track offerings going to jobs with some request for regional specialization in Japan. China followed with 31% of tenure track jobs and Korea with 8.5%. Accounting for the bias of Japan jobs in Japan, if we removed those positions, the numbers would shift to from 352 total TT jobs to 274 TT jobs, with China at 38%, Japan at 20.8%, and Korea at 10.6% of all TT ads.

In North America, where the majority of East Asian Studies hires take place, of the 152 tenure track jobs listed this year 48 ads (31.6%) were for China, 36 ads (23.7%) were for Japan, and 19 ads (12.5%) were for Korea.

Below are a handful of discipline-based observations on the History, East Asian/Asian Studies, Literature & Culture, and Language fields. These fields are often anecdotally discussed as markers of the "health" of area studies as a whole, and so it is worth highlighting some specific trends that appeared this job cycle. I will periodically offer some additional information on hiring trends by continental region and/or in other disciplines.

Discipline: History

There was a roughly 30% decrease in the number of History job announcements worldwide. This market cycle the majority of advertisements (45%) were for China specialists. Chinese and East Asian/Asian history jobs had the most tenure track positions. Japanese history saw a significant decline in offerings, and Korean history saw a very slight improvement in job numbers, though both were significantly fewer than other geographic areas in all continental regions. In terms of time period, premodern history accounted for only 1/5th of positions.

There were 78 jobs advertised globally in the History field for the 2022-2023 cycle. Last year there were 111 jobs, and in 2020-2021 there were 63 jobs. The majority of these positions advertised explicitly for a China specialist (35 ads, 44.9% of all History jobs) or an East Asia/Asia generalist (24 ads, or 30.8%). One additional position wanted a specialist who could cover China and Japan. Globally, there were only 8 advertisements (10.3%) for Japan specialists and only 4 advertisements (5.1%) for Korean history.

China was also the leading specialization in History in the previous year, with 35 ads (36% of all History jobs), followed by East Asia/Asia with 32 ads (28.8%), and Japan with 22 ads (19.8%). Korean history had only 1 job (0.9%) in the previous year, though there was 1 position for Japan or Korea. As such, Japanese history positions saw a significant decline in this year’s job market cycle and Korean history positions saw a slight uptick.

History Jobs by Desired Region

For Chinese history jobs worldwide, 20 of the 35 advertisements were tenure track positions, more than any other desired region category. 14 ads were non-TT, and 1 ad was a postdoc. This means that 57.1% of Chinese history jobs were tenure track or equivalent, whereas 42.9% were contingent. This is roughly consistent with last year, when 55% of jobs were TT and 45% were contingent. Chinese history jobs also had the most diverse locations, with offerings in China, Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Of the 35 ads, 11 were offered in the United States (7 TT, 4 non-TT), followed by Hong Kong (6 TT, 2 non TT). Most Chinese history jobs (20 of 35) were offered in Asia.

For East Asian/Asian history jobs, 16 of the 24 advertisements were tenure track positions, 6 were non-TT, and 2 were postdocs. Higher than Chinese history, 66.7% of positions were TT, whereas 33.3% were contingent. This is an increase from last year, when 53.1% of ads were TT and 43.8% were contingent. The majority of East Asia/Asia generalist history jobs were located in the United States, with 15 ads (62.5%). This was followed by the UK (4 ads), then Singapore (2 ads), and 1 ad each in Canada, China, and Hong Kong.

For Japanese history jobs, there were 3 tenure track positions, 2 non-TT positions, and 3 N/A positions. These N/A positions were somewhat irregular roles at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Tokyo Metropolitan Archive. Although in the 2021-2022 cycle 54.% of positions were tenure track and 31.8% were contingent, roughly consistent with China and East Asia, this year, with so few jobs, only 37.5% of Japanese history positions were tenure track. In North America, there were only 2 Japanese history positions, one TT (for any time period) and one non-TT (premodern). The non-TT position was only advertised through informal channels (an email list). The other 3 positions (2 TT, 1 non-TT), were located in Japan. There were no Japan-specific jobs advertised outside of Japan or the United States. The one “Japan and China” position was a TT in the United States.

For Korean history jobs, there were 2 tenure track positions, 1 non-TT position, and 1 postdoc position. Last year there was only 1 Korean history position, a postdoc, located in Europe, so this year Korean history positions improved a little, having an additional 3 ads. The 2 TT ads and 1 postdoc were located in the United States and the one non-TT role was in South Korea.

History Jobs by Track

If we look at jobs by their track, in History 60.3% (47 ads) were for tenure-track positions and 35.9% (23 non-TT ads, 5 postdoc ads) were for contingent positions, along with the 3 N/A roles. While on its surface this may seem like a positive ratio of relatively secure to relatively insecure jobs, the total number of History jobs are comparatively low in each continental region, with North America having 37 ads in History (24 TT), Asia having 31 ads (17 TT), and Europe having 10 ads (6 TT). The 30% decline in the total number of jobs from last year is also concerning.

History Jobs by Continental Region

For continental region, in North America, the most History jobs were advertised for East Asia (16 ads) and China (11 ads), with Japan (2 ads) and Korea (3 ads) lagging far behind. In Asia, the most jobs were advertised for China (20 ads), with East Asia (4 ads), Japan (6 ads), and Korea (1 ad) distant seconds. In Europe, China (4 ads) and East Asia (4 ads) were equal and there were no positions for Japan or Korea. Japanese and Korean history are therefore vastly underrepresented across all continental regions.

History Jobs by Time Period

Considered by time period, 32 ads (41%) were for modern history, 30 ads (38.5%) were for any time period (no preference), and 16 ads (20.5%) were for premodern history. Only 17% of all tenure track jobs in History were for premodern history. This is a decline from 22.2% last year. For China, 14 ads were modern, 13 ads any period, and 8 ads premodern, with no major difference in numbers per se. In contrast, for East Asia/Asia, there were 12 any period ads, 10 modern ads, and only 2 premodern ads, suggesting these generalist roles do not prioritize premodern history. For Japan, 4 ads were for premodern, 3 ads for modern, and 1 ad for any period. Of the premodern positions, three were in Japan (and one was archival). For Korean history, there were 3 ads for modern history, all in the United States, and there was 1 ad for premodern history (non-TT) located in South Korea. Last year there was only 1 position in Korean history and it was a postdoc in Europe.

Disciplines: East Asian Studies and Literature & Culture

The ratio of East Asian Studies to Literature & Culture ads was roughly 60/40. In these categories combined, Japan was in the greatest demand with nearly double the number of other openings. There were 1/3rd to 1/4th fewer Korea positions compared to China and Japan. More tenure track jobs were offered in Asia than North America, though by a smaller margin than last year. 50% of combined EAS/Lit & Culture ads asked for any time period. Premodern ads were only 1/4th of all the combined ads. There were no premodern Korea jobs in these categories this year.

The above visualization combines (though visually distinguishes) both generalist East Asian/Asian Studies positions and Literature & Culture positions, as these categories frequently overlap in job advertisements that list a variety of fields such as literature, cultural studies, visual arts, media studies, etc. I have combined them in the visualization because popular culture/cultural studies positions, particularly literature, are often contrasted with other more strictly delineated disciplines (e.g. History) as well as looked to as a measure of interest in the study of a specific region.

This year featured a total of 188 job ads in these combined categories, with East Asian Studies ads greater at 120 ads (63.8% of the combined category) and Literature & Culture ads at 68 ads (36.2%). Last year there were 207 advertisements for EAS and Lit & Culture combined, though they were slightly closer in number, with 56% and 44% respectively.

EAS and Lit & Culture Jobs by Desired Region

Demand for Japan specialization in the combined EAS and Lit & Culture category was far higher than other regions, with 84 advertisements (44.7% of the total). China, which came in second, had 52 advertisements (27.7%), though 3 advertisements desired a specialization in both China and Japan and 4 other advertisements included China along with Hong Kong or Taiwan. Broader generalist knowledge of East Asia/Asia was third with 24 ads (12.8%), and Korea was 17 ads (9%). The demand for Japan was slightly lower than in the previous 2021-2022 cycle when it accounted for 47.3% of all EAS/Lit & Culture jobs and demand for China was also lower this year, having been 36.7% in '21-'22. This year saw comparative growth in both East Asia/Asia and Korea, which had 4.3% and 7.7% in the prior year.

If we looked at each disciplinary category individually beginning with East Asian/Asian Studies, Japan would still lead with 45 ads (37.5%) of the 120 EAS jobs, versus China with 30 ads (25%), East Asia/Asia with 22 ads (18.3%), and Korea with 15 ads (12.5%). For this generalist disciplinary category the gap between each region is slightly less severe, though in the previous year there were significantly fewer East Asia/Asia and Korea positions.

For the 68 positions that were more strictly Literature & Culture focused, the difference between regional demand was wider, with 39 ads (57.4%) for Japan, 22 ads (32.4%) for China, and 2 ads each for East Asia/Asia and Korea (2.9% respectively). This trend is in keeping with the previous year, though there were no generalist East Asia/Asia Lit & Culture positions then.

As previously discussed, there are a large number of Japan-related jobs that appear in Japan, which can potentially skew the data. Would these trends hold true if we looked only at North America, which employs the majority of EAS area studies specialists? If we examined North America only, Japan would remain in the lead, though not by much. There were 78 jobs in East Asian Studies and Literature & Culture combined this year in North America, 30 of which (38.5%) were for Japan, versus 26 ads (33.3%) for China. East Asia/Asia and Korea each had 9 ads (11.5% respectively). Within North America, then, we still find that Japan and China specializations in these culturally-focused categories are approximately 3x more in demand than East Asia/Asia or Korea. If the comparison were only Literature & Culture, China would edge out Japan 44.4% to 33.3%; if the comparison were only East Asian Studies, Japan would lead 40% to 30%. Nevertheless, the majority of Japan-related jobs in these combined categories were in Asia.

EAS and Lit & Culture Jobs by Track

If we consider these categories by track, 110 positions of the 188 globally (58.5%) were tenure track, whereas 76 ads (40%) were contingent (58 non-TT and 18 postdoc). 64 of the TT ads (58.2%) were in East Asian Studies and 46 of the TT ads (41.8%) were in Literature & Culture. For East Asian Studies 53.3% of EAS ads were TT positions; for Literature & Culture, it was 67.7%. In North America, 45 of the 78 combined positions (57.7%) were tenure track and 33 ads (42.3%) were contingent. In Asia, 55 of 90 positions were tenure track (60%), while 34 ads (37.8%) were contingent. Europe only had 18 advertisements in these combined categories, 9 of which (50%) were tenure track and 8 of which were contingent.

Contingent jobs were almost equal in number in North America and Asia for 2022-2023 with 33 ads and 34 ads respectively, though in Asia 8 of those ads were postdocs and in North America 6 were postdocs. In the previous year North America was very slightly higher at 32 ads versus Asia with 31 ads.

In the 2021-2022 cycle there was a slightly higher rate of tenure track positions globally, with 63.3% of positions being secure. For Literature & Culture, this was 67% tenure track and for East Asian Studies this was 60%. We therefore find there has been a 4.8% decrease in tenure track jobs in EAS and Lit & Culture globally. East Asian Studies saw a 10% decrease in TT jobs and Literature & Culture saw a 0.7% increase.

EAS and Lit & Culture Jobs by Time Period

In terms of time period, the “any period” category was nearly double that of the others, with 94 ads (50%) of the total. By comparison, there were 56 ads for modern (29.8%) and 38 for premodern (20.2%). If we were to look only at East Asian Studies the gap would widen even more significantly, with 73 EAS jobs (60.1%) wanting any period, 34 jobs (18.3%) wanting modern, and 13 jobs (10.8%) wanting premodern. This was roughly consistent with the previous year. For Literature & Culture, almost every category was even, with 25 ads for premodern, 22 ads for modern, and 21 ads for any period. Modern positions were very slightly ahead the previous year, though almost equal to premodern and the “any period” jobs only a little behind them both.

Japan was the most in demand for all time periods (and China in second) for these categories combined, though the gap between the two was widest (more than double) for modern positions. For Korea positions, 11 of the 17 ads were for “any period” and 6 ads were for modern. There were no specifically premodern Korea positions advertised in East Asian Studies or Literature & Culture this year.

Discipline: Language

Japanese continued to be the most in-demand language of CJK languages (consistent across three years) and accounted for over 50% of all language advertisements this cycle. The United States still employs the most language instructors in East Asian Studies (55.2% of all language jobs), but 95.5% of those positions are contingent and therefore lack job security. The global contingency rate for Language positions was 86.6%.

There were 239 total language advertisements worldwide for the 2022-2023 academic job market cycle, accounting for 23.6% of all job advertisements for this year. In keeping with the past two market cycles, Japanese was the most in-demand language globally. This was true for every continental region with the exception of Africa, which had only 1 language job that was for Korean. The 126 ads for Japanese were for 52.7% of language ads, more than half. Chinese had 64 ads (26.8%) and Korean had 46 ads (19.2%). 1 ad wanted Japanese or Korean, 1 ad wanted Japanese and Korean, and one ad wanted Chinese and Japanese.

The ratio of each language compared to the others has remained roughly the same over the last three years, with Japanese between 50-54% of Language positions, Chinese between 26-33%, and Korean between 12-20% (showing more relative growth than the other two). All three CJK languages saw growth over the last three years in the total number of positions offered, even if marginal.

Language Jobs by Continental Region

North America (and the United States in particular) has consistently been the largest employer for CJK language positions for the past three years, offering 132 jobs (55.2%) of all ads for 2022-2023. There were 95 jobs in Asia (39.7%) and 9 ads in Europe (3.8%). Oceania featured 2 jobs and Africa 1 job. Last year North America accounted for 63.5% of language jobs; in 2020-2021 it had 51.4% of language jobs.

In North America, Japanese and Chinese jobs were somewhat close in number, with 55 ads for Japanese and 47 jobs for Chinese. Korean was just over half that, with 27 ads. The two jobs that wanted specializations in multiple CJK languages were in North America. In Europe, there were only 9 language positions advertised, 5 of which were for Japanese, 3 for Chinese, and 1 for Korean. In Asia, Japanese far outstripped other languages, with 64 ads versus 14 ads in Chinese and 17 ads in Korean.

While it is true that most Japan-related jobs receive a notable boost in the data because of job data collection from Japanese ad aggregator sites, there is a considerable imbalance in the data caused by job search websites that primarily advertise positions for “foreigners” (non-Chinese) in China, most of which are for native Japanese and Korean speakers. As a result, the data reflects that the highest demand for Japanese language jobs was in China, with these websites advertising almost no positions for Chinese. At the same time, we do not see the same pattern in Japan, which advertised more than twice as many jobs for Japanese than Chinese or Korean. With the challenges of the data sources in mind, we should be cautious of reading these data at face value.

Language Jobs by Track

Of the 239 language advertisements globally, 207 ads (86.6%) were for non tenure track positions, 31 ads (13%) were for tenure track positions, and 1 position was a postdoc. This means the global contingency rate was 86.6% of all Language jobs. This is a very slight improvement from the previous year’s 88.3%. If we examine contingency by continental region, contingent positions in North America comprise 95.5% of all Language jobs and 82.1% of all Language jobs in Asia. Of the 9 advertisements in Europe, 7 were for tenure track roles and 2 were contingent. The two Language positions in Oceania were also permanent positions. The one language position in Africa was non-TT. North America (more specifically, the United States) has consistently had the worst record of reliance on contingent labor in the Language field over the last three years.

Note: I define contingent positions here, as with the rest of this report, as positions providing a year or more of full time work but no potential long-term job security (as a tenure track position might). Language teaching positions are often contracted for anywhere from 1-3 years, some with the possibility of renewal. This dataset does not include adjunct positions/adjunct pools that hire by term or number of classes, which offer even less security for lower levels of income.

If we consider those positions that are tenure track, we find that most are for Japanese, with 12 of the 16 tenure track ads in Asia being for Japanese (the other 4 for Chinese), 5 of the 7 TT ads in Europe for Japanese (1 for Chinese, 1 for Korean), 3 of the 6 TT ads in North America for Japanese (2 for Chinese, one for Japanese or Korean). Almost half of the TT jobs for Japanese were located in Japan (10 of the 22 TT ads). There was only 1 TT ad globally for Korean language. Last year, across the world there were 10 TT ads for Japanese (surprisingly, 5 of them in North America), 5 TT ads for Korean, 5 TT ads for Chinese, and 1 TT ad for Chinese and Japanese.

It is worth noting here that I separate out Linguistics and Translation & Interpretation as their own separate categories. This year there were 9 jobs in Translation & Interpretation for Chinese and only 2 jobs for Japanese. These positions were mostly based in Asia, with the Chinese jobs in China (2), Hong Kong (2), Japan (1), Taiwan (1), and the United Kingdom (3). The 2 ads for Japan were located in Japan. In contrast, for Linguistics, globally there were 23 ads for Japanese, 12 for Chinese, and 3 for Korean. 15 of the 23 ads for Japanese were in Japan, followed by the United States (7) and China (1). For Chinese linguistics, there were jobs in the United States (6), Hong Kong (3), Inner Mongolia (1), Singapore (1), and the United Kingdom (1). For Korean, there were 3 linguistics positions, all in the US.

Time Period

Jobs with no need for a time period specializations were the majority of hires (38%). If removed those N/A jobs from consideration, jobs for modernists accounted for 46% of hires globally and premodern jobs only 11% of all hires. Premodern jobs declined in both number and percent of all jobs from last year. China was the most in demand for modernists; Japan and China were equally in demand for premodernists. Jobs for premodernists declined in every region globally. There was only one premodern Korea job worldwide.

Of the 1,011 job advertisements worldwide, 384 ads (38%) fell into the N/A category, meaning that specialization in a particular time period was largely irrelevant to the hire. Most of these positions were in Language (238 ads). After Language, in this category 53 ads were for the Administrative/Program Director category, followed by Librarian/Library Sciences (39 ads), Linguistics (37 ads), Translation/Interpretation (11 ads), and Digital Studies (6 ads). In the 2021-2022 and 2020-2021 cycles N/A was also the dominant category with 34.1% and 33.3% of all jobs respectively.

A specialization in the modern period or any time period far exceeded that of premodern in 2022-2023, with 288 ads (28.5%) for modern and 267 ads (26.5%) that were open to any time period. By contrast, only 71 advertisements (7%) globally specified an explicit desire for premodern specialists. If we were to discount the N/A category and only compare jobs in which time period was relevant, 45.9% of jobs desired modernists, 42.7% had no preference, and 11.3% desired premodernists. This is a decline from the previous year, which, excluding the N/A category, listed 14.7% of jobs for premodernists. Even if the N/A category were included, premodernist roles would have comprised 9.7% of advertisements last year, as compared to the fewer 7% this year.

Time Period by Continental Region

Looking at continental regions and only time period-specific jobs, in North America, 47.3% (141 ads) of all positions had no time period preference, 44.6% of jobs (133 ads) desired a modern specialization, and only 8.1% of ads (24 ads) were for premodern. This is roughly consistent with the previous year, in which 48.2% of ads were any period, 43.6% of ads were for modern, and only 8.2% of ads were for premodern. There was no notable difference in the ratio of premodern ads to others since last year, nor the overall number of ads (23 last year). For modern, there was 9% increase in the number of jobs. This year in North America there were 69 TT ads for modernists, 53 TT ads for any period, and 10 TT ads for premodernists.

In Asia, modern jobs were the most numerous with 43.7% of ads (104 ads), followed by any period with 39.9% of ads (95 ads), and then premodern with 16.4% of (39 ads). This is a slight shift from last year, in which the any period category led with 44.9% of ads, modern had 33.8%, and the premodern had 21.3%. There was therefore a nearly 5% decrease in ratio of premodern ads to others in Asia this year; if we look strictly at the numbers, the shift from 56 premodern ads to 30 ads this year is a 30% decrease. For modern, there was 17% increase in the number of jobs. This year in Asia there were 56 TT ads for modernists, 49 TT ads for any period, and 21 TT ads for premodernists.

In Europe, modern jobs were more than double that of any period, with 63.2% modern (48 ads), 26.3% (20 ads), and 10.5% premodern (8 ads). These percentages are slightly less useful by comparison to the other continental regions, given their difference in overall number. Nevertheless, if we compare these rates to last year, there is still an obvious increase in ratio of modern roles from 59.4% (+3.8%) and any period roles from 23.6% (+2.7%), while there was a decrease for premodern from 17% (-6.5%). Considered by number of jobs, there was a 55.6% decrease in premodern jobs this year from last year and a 23.8% decrease in modern positions. This year in Europe there were 17 TT ads for modernists, 9 TT ads for any period, and 1 TT ad for premodernists.

This year 54.9% of all premodern jobs were located in Asia (most in Japan). 46.2% of modern jobs were located in North America (nearly all in the United States), and 52.6% of all any period jobs were located in North America (nearly all in the United States).

Time Period by Discipline

Turning to a selection of disciplines, for History, modern positions were twice as in demand as premodern, with 32 ads globally (versus 16 ads for premodern), or 41% of all time period specific advertisements in History. The any period category was close behind modern, with 30 ads (38.5%). Premodern history ads accounted for only 20.5% of all time period-relevant ads in History. In North America, premodern ads (5 ads) were 13.5% of History positions. The number of jobs for premodern history is the same as last year. In Asia, all time period categories for History were quite close in number, with 12 modern ads, 10 any ads, and 9 premodern ads. The previous year saw more any period ads (21), more premodern ads (16), and fewer premodern ads (9). In Europe, there were 6 ads for modern and 2 ads each for any period and premodern history. This is roughly consistent with last year, which had 7 ads in modern, 2 ads in any period, and 3 ads in premodern history. Asia is the only location where premodern history is competitive with other time periods.

In the East Asian Studies and Literature & Culture categories, 50% of ads (94 ads) were for any time period, followed by 29.8% of ads (56 ads) for modern and 20.2% of ads (38 ads) for premodern. In these cultural categories the number of premodern roles tend to be higher. Last year these ratios were roughly the same, with 46.4% any, 30.4% modern, and 23.2% premodern. Still, there was a slight decline this year for premodern positions for EAS/Lit&Cult. If we were to separate the two categories, East Asian Studies has a much higher “any period” rate, given that these advertisements are more open to a multitude of disciplines. This year EAS was 60.8% any period, 28.3% modern, and 10.8% premodern. In contrast, for Literature & Culture alone, the premodern very slightly edges out the other two, with 36.8% of positions versus modern with 32.4% and any period with 30.9%. In the previous year, too, premodern managed to at least keep up with modern, with modern Lit & Culture at 37.4%, premodern at 35.2%, and any period lagging at 27.5%.

In North America these combined categories had 60.3% any period, 25.6% modern, and 14.1% premodern. Broken down, EAS was 65% any (39 ads), 25% modern (15 ads), and 10% premodern (6 ads); Lit & Culture was 44.4% any (8 ads), 27.8% modern (5 ads), and 27.8% premodern (5 ads), one of the only categories where modern and premodern has parity (with 5 jobs each). That said, of those equal numbers of modern and premodern Lit & Culture jobs, 4 of the modern positions were tenure track, whereas only 1 job was tenure track for premodern.

In Asia, these combined categories were 42.2% any period (38 ads), 30% modern (27 ads), and 27.8% premodern (25 ads), with modern and premodern being more equal than in North America. Broken down, the East Asian Studies category is very similar to North America, with 61.9% any (26 ads), 26.2% modern (11 ads), and 11.9% premodern (5 ad); Lit & Culture, however, has premodern in the lead with 41.7% (20 ads), then modern at 33.3% (16 ads), and any period at 25% (12 ads). In the previous year there was a larger number of EAS positions for any period (79.1%), a steep fall in modern (4.7%), and premodern was modest (16.1%); Lit & Culture had premodern with only a slight lead over the others at 36.1%, but the categories were roughly equal.

In Europe the combined EAS and Lit & Culture categories were equal with 8 advertisements each, but only 2 ads for premodern. Only two of the 18 positions total were for Literature & Culture; they were modern and any period. In the previous year there were 14 modern ads, 6 any period ads, and 7 premodern ads. For Literature & Culture, 4 of these were for modern, 3 were for premodern, and 1 was any. For East Asian Studies, 10 ads were modern, 4 ads were premodern, 5 ads were any period. The premodern thus saw a significant decline in these cultural and literary categories from last year.

For the Political Science/Anthropology/Sociology category, where premodern is less likely to be in demand, 95% of all ads globally (133 ads) were explicitly listed for modern and 7 ads listed no temporal specification. Last year 90.5% were specifically modern and 9.5% any period. 53.6% of the PoliSci/Antho/Socio category positions were tenure track. 54.7 % of those TT positions were located in North America.

The Religious Studies field also seldom specifies time period, and therefore 80.5% of ads (33 ads) were for any period. 14.6% of ads (6 ads) were listed for modern and 4.9% of ads (2 ads) were listed for premodern. Last year there were no premodern ads in Religious Studies and 88.4% of those listed were for any period. This year 39% of Religious Studies ads (16 ads) were located in North America, 24.4% of ads (10 ads) were located in Asia, 17% of ads (7 ads) were located in Europe, and 19.5% of ads (8 ads) were not tied to a specific region (e.g. postdocs in residence).

Time Period by Desired Region

In terms of desired region, for the modern period, specialization in China was the most in demand, with 112 advertisements (38.9%) for modernists explicitly for China (and China only). If other ads that wanted China OR/AND another place were included, it would be 120 ads. Japan was the next most in demand for modernists, with 61 ads (21.2%, 64 ads if inclusive of multiple locales). The East Asia/Asia generalist role followed close behind with 56 ads (19.4%, 68 ads if inclusive). Modern Korea specialization accounted for 24 ads (8.3%, 26 ads if inclusive). These percentages are roughly in keeping with the previous year, though Korean ads saw an approximately 5% ratio increase this year.

For the premodern, specialization for Japan and China were almost equal, with 33 ads (46.5%) for Japan and 29 ads (40.8%) for China. This is a reversal of last year, which had 50.5% premodern China jobs and 36% premodern Japan jobs. Generalist East Asia roles had only 7 ads (8 ads inclusive). There was only 1 premodern Korea ad. This was a decline from last year, which featured 4 premodern Korea ads. For the any period category, East Asia/Asia was most in demand with 80 ads (29.9%, 94 inclusive), followed closely by Japan with 77 ads (28.7%, 80 ads inclusive) and China with 63 ads (23.5%, 68 ads inclusive). Last year these three categories were all roughly 28% each. This year Korea was a distant 21 ads (7.9%, 24 ads inclusive), similar to last year when it only had 17 ads (6%).

Much the same as last year, compared with the rest of East Asia, jobs in Korean Studies were very few in number this cycle. Premodern Korea in particular was devastatingly low, with only one advertised job globally. This position was a premodern Korean history job hosted in South Korea.

School Type

Over half of jobs advertised globally were at R1 institutions, which offered 4-5x more job opportunities than D/PU, SLAC/Bacc, and R2 institutions. 67% of jobs ads at R1s are located in North America, though only 25.5% of R1 institution job advertisements in North America were for tenure track jobs this year. R1s in Asia offered closer to 40% tenure track jobs. In Europe it was closer to 36%. Across the last three years North American institutions have consistently hosted the fewest number of jobs with potential for long-term job security.

During the 2022-2023 job market season 520 (51.4%) of the jobs advertised worldwide were located at R1 (very high research) institutions. This percentage is nearly equal to the previous year’s 52% and the 52.6% two years prior. Across all three years the next most frequent employers were D/PU (doctoral/professional) universities (12.6%, or 127 ads), SLAC/Bacc institutions (small liberal arts colleges or baccalaureate-granting four-year schools) (11.1%, or 112 ads), and R2 institutions (high research) institutions (10.3%, or 104 ads). These institutions consistently were very close in number of hires, ranging from 10-12% of job ads. R1 institutions tend to provide between 4x and 5x as many job opportunities as each of the D/PU, SLAC/Bacc, and R2 categories. The majority of R1 institution jobs can be found in North America, nearly 3x that of Asia and 4x that of Europe.

If we consider track at these respective institution types, R1 institutions globally accounted for 159 tenure track jobs (45.2% of all TT jobs) and 282 contingent positions (110 postdoc, 172 non-TT; 53.7% of all contingent jobs, 67.1% of all postdocs and 47.6% of all non-TT). They also had the most N/A positions with 79 ads (59% of all N/A ads). R1 institutions globally had a rate of 30.6% tenure track jobs versus 54.3% contingent jobs. Although the numbers for D/PU institutions drop significantly to only 127 jobs, their rate of tenure track roles was much higher, with 56.7% TT positions and 40.1% contingent positions. SLAC/Bacc institutions were slightly better than R1s, with 34.8% TT and 62.5% contingent (having very few N/A roles). R2 institutions had a more balanced rate of 39.4% TT to 54.8% contingent. Although M1 (large Master’s degree granting) institutions had only 38 job advertisements, they had the best rate of 50% tenure track offerings.

Of the 513 ads in North America, 318 ads (62%) were located at R1 institutions, although only 25.5% of them were tenure track roles; contingent positions comprised 54.1% of R1 jobs in North America. The percentage of TT roles at R1 institutions improved slightly from last year, when it was 20.3% TT and 62.6% contingent.

SLAC/Bacc institutions followed R1s, though with only 78 ads (15.2% of the total ads in North America). 27 of those SLAC/Bacc ads (34.6%) were tenure track and 48 of which (61.5%) were contingent. Last year SLAC/Bacc institutions in North America had a rate of 25.4% tenure track, meaning this year has seen a roughly 10% increase in more secure jobs. R2 institutions were similar in ratio to SLAC/Bacc, with 14 ads (34.1%) TT and 24 ads (58.6%) contingent; however, tenure track positions at R2s were about 36% fewer in number this year. In keeping with the global trends, this cycle M1 institutions had a higher rate of tenured positions with 18 ads (52.9%) TT and 15 ads (44.1%) contingent. This is only slightly higher than last year’s 51.9% tenure track at M1s.

Although these data categories do not always fit neatly for reporting on areas like Asia and Europe (please visit the data explanation section for details), generally speaking, those institutions in Asia that we might consider R1 also had the most hires but were much closer in number of hires to other school types. While R1s accounted for 119 ads (31.6%) in Asia, D/PU had 111 ads (29.5%), R2s had 48 ads (12.8%), and SLAC/Bacc had 34 (9%), a very different percent distinction from North America’s step drop from 62% R1s steeply declining to 15.2% SLAC/Bacc. Asia’s distribution by school type was roughly the same in the previous year.

As for job tracks at R1s in Asia, 47 ads (39.5%) were tenure track and 70 ads (58.8%) were contingent, a significant difference from North America’s 25.5% TT rate. The TT to contingent rate might have been higher, but most jobs listed in China were language positions. For D/PUs in Asia, 66 ads (59.5%) were tenure track, while 42 ads (37 non-TT, 5 postdoc) were contingent (37.8%). R2s had a TT rate of 45.8% and SLAC/Bacc a rate of 35.3%.

In Europe, the percentage rates are slightly less meaningful because of the fewer number of institutions and fewer number of jobs compared to North America and Asia. Nevertheless, we can say that R1 equivalent institutions accounted for 78 of the 104 hires (75%), as compared to R2s 13 ads (12.5%), after which a handful of hires were distributed among research institutes, M1s, D/PUs, and some non-profits, museums, etc. 33.7% of positions in Europe were tenure track, 49% were contingent (31 postdocs, 20 non-TT), and 17.3% were N/A. At R1s in Europe there were 28 tenure track positions, accounting for 35.9% of their hires, as compared to 38 (48.7%) contingent positions (21 postdoc, 17 non-TT). This ratio is closer to Asia than that of North America. In the previous year 45.2% of R1 hires were tenure track.

Globally, R1 institutions or their rough equivalent have the worst record of hiring tenured positions, despite having the most hires available. North American institutions consistently host the fewest number of tenure track jobs.

Public & Private Institutions

This year public institutions hosted over 60% of all job opportunities. The majority of openings were in the United States. In the US, hires at private institutions were almost equal to public institutions. Private institutions had a slightly higher rate of contingency than public institutions in the US. In Japan, nearly 60% of hires were at public institutions, and public institutions offered over twice as many tenure track jobs.

This year job advertisements at public institutions comprised 61.8% of all job opportunities with 625 ads, as compared to 37.3% of opportunities (377 ads) at private institutions. Nine ads fell into the N/A category. These rates are in keeping with the previous two years, which had roughly the same percentages.

The ratio of public and private institutions (as well as their level of financial support and size) differs significantly by location, but some broad information and comparisons will still be provided here. Given its large number of educational institutions on the whole, it is unsurprising that the United States hosted the majority of openings at public institutions with 37% of all advertisements (231 ads) as well as the majority at private institutions with 69.2% of all private ads (261 ads). The wider gap in this percentage majority reflects the larger number of public institutions in other locations, such as Japan (14.7% of public jobs), China (11.4% of public jobs), the United Kingdom (11% of public jobs), and Hong Kong (10.4% of public jobs). In the previous year the US still led the public institution hires at 33% of global positions, but the United Kingdom was second with 13.9%. For private institutions, Japan was second after the United States this year with 15.7% of ads, and China (5%) and South Korea (4%) followed. In the previous year the US had 66.3% of private ads, followed by Japan (19.6%) and China (6.4%).

The most robust data for comparing private versus public institutions is available for the United States and Japan, which made the most hires. In China, which was third, there was a significant number of hires, but the data is deeply skewed towards language positions and so will not be evaluated here. Hong Kong and the United Kingdom had nearly the same number of hires but none at private institutions.

In the United States hires at private institutions were almost equal to that of public institutions, with 261 ads at private and 231 at public. Private institutions had a slightly higher rate of contingency than public institutions. Private institutions had a rate of 26.4% TT positions to 56.3% contingent (with 17.3% N/A). Public institutions had 31.6% TT positions to 51.1% contingent (17.3% N/A). In the previous year these rates were closer to one another, with 26.4% TT at private institutions and 27.5% TT at public institutions.

By comparison, in Japan, 59.7% of ads were at public institutions and 38.3% were at private ones, with 2% N/A. At public institutions in Japan 56.5% of positions were TT and only 21.7% contingent, while at private institutions 42.4% of positions were TT and 54.1% were contingent, showing that public institutions had both a higher number of tenured positions (over twice as many) and a higher rate of tenured roles overall by 14.1%. Interestingly, in the previous year, the rate of tenure track hires in Japan was 67.6% at private institutions and 59.7% at public institutions; an overall higher rate at both, but also much greater at private institutions. This shift may also be because 52.5% of hires were at private institutions in Japan last year and 47.5% were at public institutions.

Top Hiring Institutions

The following charts show the top 10-15 institutions (by continental region) that hosted the most hires in East Asian Studies this year. At the global level, Harvard University offered the most East Asia-related jobs this year, with 27 advertisements. This was followed by the University of Hong Kong (21 ads), Chinese University of Hong Kong (19 ads), Stanford University (18 ads), Princeton University (14 ads), 11 ads each at Inner Mongolia University, University of Michigan, University of Oxford, and Yale, and finally Indiana University Bloomington (10). All ten of these institutions are R1 (very high research) universities. Among the top ten hiring universities globally, their combined contingency rate was 15% tenure track positions, 64.1% contingent positions (30.1% postdoc, 34% non-TT), and 20.9% N/A. Of these top ten hiring universities, the institution with the best rate of tenure track hires was the Chinese University of Hong Kong (42.1% TT), followed by the University of Hong Kong (28.6% TT).

In North America, the top eleven institutions (due to ties in the number of ads) that hired in East Asian Studies this year were Harvard University (27 ads), Stanford University (18 ads), Princeton University (14 ads), University of Michigan (11 ads), Yale University (11 ads), Indiana University Bloomington (10 ads), and then University of British Columbia, University of California Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Pennsylvania (each with 7 ads). All ten institutions are R1 universities and six of the eleven (including the top 3) are private institutions. Collectively, these institutions had a rate of 14.3% tenure track offerings, 59.5% contingent offerings (38.1% postdoc, 21.4% non-TT), and 26.2% N/A. Although Harvard University offered more East Asia-related job openings globally and in North America, they opened no tenure track positions this year.

In Asia, the top thirteen institutions that hired in East Asian Studies were the University of Hong Kong (21 ads), Chinese University of Hong Kong (19 ads), Inner Mongolia University (11 ads), National University of Singapore (9 ads), Hong Kong Polytechnic University (8 ads), University of Macau (8 ads), NYU Shanghai (7 ads), University of Tsukuba (6 ads), Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (6 ads), and University of Tokyo, Sogang University, Osaka University, and Kansai Gaidai University (each with 5 ads). In contrast to North America, nine of the top ten institutions, including the top three, are public institutions. There is also a greater diversity in the type of institutions, including R1s, R2s, D/PU, and notably two R1 regional branch institutions tied to Anglophone universities. Collectively, these institutions had a rate of 44.4% tenure track offerings (significantly higher than North America), 52.1% contingent offerings (10.4% postdoc, 41.7% non-TT), and 3.5% N/A. At the University of Hong Kong, the top hiring institution, 6 of the 21 hires were tenure track or TT equivalent.

In Europe, the top twelve institutions (due to ties in the number of ads) were University of Oxford (11 ads), King’s College London (8 ads), University of Cambridge (6 ads), University of Manchester (5 ads), Leiden University (5 ads), University of Bristol (4 ads), London School of Economics and Political Science (4 ads), and then University of Sheffield, University of Hamburg, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, SOAS University of London, and the Max Plank Institute (all with 3 ads each). All but one institution of these twelve is a public institution; all but one institution (the Max Plank Institute) is an R1 equivalent; and eight of the twelve institutions are located in the United Kingdom. Other top hiring institutions were in the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. Collectively, these institutions had a rate of 34.5% tenure track offerings, 53.4% contingent offerings (31% postdoc, 22.4% non-TT), and 12.1% N/A. Their percentages of contingency were much closer to Asia than North America. The University of Oxford, which hosted the most job openings this year, had no tenure track equivalent positions. In contrast, King’s College London, with the second largest number of hires, hired permanent roles for 5 of its 8 positions, the most TT positions of anywhere in Europe this year.

If we were to look at these institutions for the combined number of hires over the last three years, the top five would continue to reflect this year’s trends, with Harvard University hiring for 73 positions in this period, University of Hong Kong hiring for 58 positions, Chinese University of Hong Kong hiring for 47 positions, Stanford University hiring for 36 positions, and University of Oxford hiring for 33 positions. In the past three years, Harvard University has offered tenured positions for 2 of the 73 openings. For University of Hong Kong, it is 18 of 58 positions; Chinese University of Hong Kong offered 18 of 47 positions; Stanford University offered 6 of 36 positions, and University of Oxford offered 5 of 33 positions.

A Glimpse into Digital Labor

The majority of digital labor that goes into research projects and public facing scholarship is invisible, with the many hours spent crunching numbers, coding, or designing user interfaces or graphics unknown to the casual observer. For this reason I like to include brief descriptions of the labor that goes into this job data collection at the end of each report. Being transparent about our labor is crucial to not only educating others on how these projects are undertaken but also to facilitating a more equitable academia by freely providing that information.

I have been collecting this job data for the last four years. Last year, it was supported by an Association for Asian Studies and National Endowment for the Humanities Striving for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Asian Studies Digital Humanities grant. Nevertheless, this has meant three years of labor funded only through generous sponsorship by Patreon Patreon patrons.

This year in particular I feel I have much improved my data collection and curation, so I spent a significant amount of time—far more than in previous years—working and reworking my materials to effectively review and (re)clean the previous years’ data. This process allows me to be more consistent in my analyses, particularly multi year comparisons.

Over the course of the last four years I have searched for new postings on a weekly basis across over a dozen websites. I record them in my annual data file, clean up the data, select keywords from the advertisement to feature in the filter table, and then post a brief summary of the latest ads on social media. I also write a brief data report on my thoughts about trends in progress for patrons on my Patreon. In addition to the data work, I also regularly update other projects, such as my database of digital resources and projects on East Asia.

I use the tool Timeular to track (and balance!) the hours I spend on my digital projects and other professional activities, particularly those for which I am (or am not) paid. To provide a rough estimate of how much time has been spent on my job data alone over the last year, I provide visualizations from my Timeular tracking below.

This year, with the enormous task of re-working all of my old data and incorporating new resources to improve my data sources, I spent roughly 7x more time on this project, totally around 326.5 hours of work. During the months in which I was not preparing the job report, I spent an average of about 17 hours hours per month doing digital projects (including the Shinpai Deshou website and my East Asian Studies resources database, and the Digital Humanities Japan wiki). Most of those hours were spent on job data collection and curation.

How this kind of data work is paid varies significantly from company to company, but a lower-range industry standard rate is close to $35-45 per hour, and a higher rate closer to $50-55 (or even more). Thus, at the lower end of the spectrum, my last 12 months of work might be compensated at somewhere between $11,425 and $17,950 in hourly wages. Professional compensation would, on average, be more.

In the interest of transparency, I also highlight my Patreon funds. I created a Patreon Patreon account to crowdsource financial support for this work a little over a year ago. Those that have decided to continue supporting this (and my other digital public-facing work that I still do for free) have generously provided between $160 and $190 per month (pre-taxes). Over the past year this has totaled $2,202.48.

If you found this or any other of my digital projects useful, monthly donations via Patreon Patreon begin at $2. Support from the community I do this for means a lot to me and helps with the cost of this site.

As I stated last year, I hope this report and the data therein will provide a starting point for discussions on old and new trends in the East Asian Studies field and may be of service to those who wish to advocate for the creation of such jobs at their own institutions. If you would like to discuss specific visualization requests for a subset of this dataset, you may contact me at prcurtis@ucla.edu.

Please link and provide credit when reposting. If you post any graphics provided or screencaps of the interactive visualizations, please cite this page and/or tag me on social media (@paularcurtis on Twitter).
A special thank you to Tristan R. Grunow and Sara L. Sumpter for assistance reviewing the content of this page.

To cite this page:

Curtis, Paula R. "East Asia-related Job Market Data Report (2022-2023)," prcurtis.com, August 7, 2023; http://prcurtis.com/projects/jobs2023/

  1. Prior to the data updating and re-cleaning done this year, the total number of entries for the 2021-2022 cycle was 909 advertisements. More effective data curation thus incorporated about 100 new job ads into last year's dataset.

  2. For our purposes here, Archaeology, Art History/Architecture/Urban Studies, East Asian Studies, Education, Film Studies/Media Studies, Gender Studies/Sexuality Studies, History, Library/Library Services, Linguistics, Literature & Culture, Museum/Curator/Conservation, Music/Musicology, Performing Arts/Drama, Philosophy, Public History, and Religious Studies.

  3. For our purposes here, Business/Economics, Environmental Studies, Geography, Law, PoliSci/Anthro/Socio, Public Health, and Translation/Interpretation.