The 2019 AHA Jobs ReportHistorians in the News
tags: historians, AHA, history in crisis, jobs report, history as profession
Keeping track of the career opportunities open to history PhDs is an important task, but one that gets difficult as we consider that for decades about a quarter of history PhDs have built careers outside the professoriate. Since the 1990s, the AHA has reported annually on career opportunities within the professoriate, using data from our AHA Career Center (sometimes known as the AHA jobs board) and, since last year, from H-Net’s Job Guide as well. (We are grateful to our colleagues at H-Net for sharing their data.) Thus, our data for academic job postings are reasonably reliable. But finding comparable data on employment opportunities for history PhDs beyond faculty positions is next to impossible, in part because there is no national marketplace that can be tracked, and in part because the more we appreciate the diversity of employment that historians pursue, the more difficult it is to categorize precisely what jobs PhDs are qualified for and apply for.
Nevertheless, the largest employment category for history PhDs is college and university teachers, and that is the career choice many of them prefer. So this year, as part of our commitment to providing our discipline with useful data about history careers, we have decided to dig deeper into the academic job market—to use information that job ads furnish to the fullest extent we can—while we keep searching for ways to account for job types that are not well represented in the AHA Career Center or on H-Net. To that end, we are introducing several features to this year’s Jobs Report, which we have designed to help our community better explore trends in highly diversified academic hiring (see “Gathering New Data,” below). Since these data are new, we should not infer that they represent trends that will continue for years into the future. The AHA will continue to gather these data to eventually characterize historical trends.
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