Academics are increasingly encouraged to devote themselves to interdisciplinary scholarship, but does being interdisciplinary help you get a job? What do hiring committees really mean when they say they desire a candidate with “interdisciplinary experience”? To investigate these questions the 2014-2015 Graduate Fellows at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies undertook a content analysis of academic job announcements using the term “interdisciplinary”. We analyzed 200 job listings for tenure-track positions at the Assistant Professor level in the social sciences and humanities, using job listings from the website H-Net posted during the 2013-2014 hiring cycles. The demands for interdisciplinarity in a candidate’s research methodology, research topic, teaching, publication and collaboration were recorded. Approximately a quarter of the jobs use the term to refer to the hiring institution or department, and not the candidate. Hiring institutions with Research Clusters desire the most interdisciplinary candidates, and there is a bifurcation of weakly interdisciplinary job listings (typically focused only on interdisciplinary teaching) and highly interdisciplinary job postings demanding interdisciplinarity scholarship across multiple domains. Recommendations based on our results are presented for both job candidates and search committees.
interdisciplinary, content analysis, academic job market
Arts and Humanities | Education Policy | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology
© 2015 by Michael Aiuvalasit, Carson Davis, Ángel Gallardo, Bingchen Liu, Tim McGee, Meghan Wadle
Aiuvalasit, Michael; Davis, Carson; Gallardo, Ángel; Liu, Bingchen; McGee, Tim; and Wadle, Meghan, "Trend or Transition: A Report on Interdisciplinary Work in the 2013-2014 Academic Job Market for the Humanities and Social Sciences" (2015). Graduate Fellow Publications. 1.