+7 votes
asked ago in Job Market - Candidate Questions by (450 points)
I have some geographic constraints so I am perhaps being a little more choosy than some past colleagues but I have applied for about 70 jobs so far and don’t have a whole lot more that make much sense to bother with.  I’m in applied micro. Re: applying to 200 jobs as I have heard others do fairly often: It feels like i couldn’t do that this year without applying to patently inappropriate jobs (i.e. macro, finance).

How does this job season look to knowledgeable veterans?


5 Answers

+3 votes
answered ago by (3.3k points)
My students are in applied micro and have lists of 180 jobs even with a ton of higher ranked places scratched off their list.  The first time I was on the market I applied to 150 jobs, and got 3 offers.  They were to 3 places I hadn't heard of, but were all were to places I was excited about.  I'd encourage you to hedge on being risk averse now, but to each his own.  But impose any geographic constraint and you'll narrow down things a ton.

Is it a down year?  Maybe.  The private sector is probably hiring a ton.  But I bet the government isn't hiring that many.    Nationwide, I bet econ majors are down a bit, because enrollment in universities is declining a bit due to demographics, a good economy, and fewer international students coming to the US.  There's also the existential threat to econ majors of growing data science programs and departments.  We aren't hiring for the first time in several years, partly because we had several successful searches a couple years in a row, but possibly also because of our slow down in majors which peaked a couple of years ago.  Hopefully we'll be back on the market next year.
+7 votes
answered ago by (330 points)
I usually remind my students that unconstrained optimization leads to a (weakly) higher optimum than its constrained cousin... so why impose your constraints ex ante? If the unconstrained outcome is a single offer in a place that's not your preferred location vs. no job, you're probably better off with that job than without!

You might be able to hack it for a couple of years -- commuting on the weekends, for example -- and then you can try again. I obviously don't know your situation, but I traveled back and forth overseas for the first couple of years, then commuted between Madison and Chicago for a year. It was tough, but doable.

To your actual question about the job season: no idea! But it's what you have to work with, so just apply to all the applied micro jobs!
+1 vote
answered ago by (2.2k points)
The market for small colleges in the northeast looks pretty robust and several places are advertising two positions rather than the usual one. Not sure what your geographic constraints are.
0 votes
answered ago by (450 points)
Thanks for these responses. I'll take Emilia's advice and relax my constraints a bit and just see what happens. I appreciate the feedback.
+1 vote
answered ago by (1.8k points)
I applied to 30 places.