Employment & Careers > Job Markets

Thinking about Where Historians Work before Graduate School

Working at the American Historical Association for the past two years has made it impossible to shield myself from the uglier truths about pursuing a graduate degree in history—from the imbalance between the number of graduate degrees conferred and jobs available in the professoriate to the increasingly precarious nature of employment in higher education. Taken alone, these challenges might have convinced me (or any rational person) to run in the other direction. Instead, two years after getting my bachelor’s degree, I’m starting a history PhD program in the fall. 

AHA and Employment: Recent Activities Concerning the Job Market and the History Student

There’s a possible bright spot emerging in the job market. The October issue of Perspective on History last year included 133 job ads, but this year’s issue will feature 189. This does not in itself constitute a breakthrough, and we should point out that what matters most is how many total ads are placed by the end of the season. Still, we hope that this increase over last year’s numbers is the start of a trend. Over the past year, the American Historical Association has been active in addressing the tough academic job market, the single most important issue faced by history students and recent graduates These efforts have taken place on several fronts.

Troubling News on Job Market for History PhDs

In advance of the annual meeting, we are publishing the annual job report online a bit earlier than the rest of the January issue of Perspectives on History. It offers troubling news for job seekers, the history doctoral programs conferring their degrees, and the discipline as a whole. Article By: Robert B. Townsend