For anyone eyeing the 2014-15 job market*, the AMASummer Educators Conference
in San Francisco (August 1-3, 2014) might feel like it's rapidly approaching. If you happen to fall into that category (or if you just like job market data), below an update to my post from last year providing an overview of key milestones. Following the timeline, I offer some perspectives on the two most common questions that have come in about planning for the upcoming job market.
||May - July 2014
||August 1-3, 2014
||October - December 2014
The timeline above is descriptive of the process for roughly 80% of candidates. Based on data from the 2012-13 market cycle, roughly 20% of candidates are likely to secure a position between January 2015 and April 2015.
Q: What can a candidate do to improve his/her job market prospects?
A: The most important things you can do to position yourself for the job market include: (a) submitting a paper to a top journal and (b) turning a "work in progress" into a complete working paper (i.e. a manuscript that could be posted to SSRN or submitted to the MSI Working Paper Series).
Many candidates spend the spring semester focusing on their dissertation proposal. However, I would argue that this is not necessarily the highest ROI endeavor. Schools are looking for evidence of research productivity when they evaluate CVs. In order to improve your job market prospects, you should devote time and effort to things that provide evidence of research productivity, such as submitting a paper to a top journal. Having a R&R at a top journal is even better. And even having completed working papers to circulate is a substantial improvement over a "long abstract" at the end of your CV. The dissertation proposal is critical to completing your Phd, however, that document is unlikely to increase the number of AMA interviews or fly-out offers you receive.
This doesn't mean you need a top publication to get a job, rather schools are looking for evidence of your potential. Generally, this means work in review and/or complete working papers to circulate. Historically, approximately 30-40% of candidates have one or more papers under first review at an "A" journal, around 25-30% of candidates have one or more papers past first review at an "A" journal, and only 10% of candidates enter AMA with a publication in a top journal**. The table below provides exact numbers for 2007 through 2013 (as reported in the Who Went Where surveys). As to be expected, "A" Journals are defined as JM, JMR, JCR, and MktSci. Notably, the vast majority of candidates have no papers in review or published in an "A" journal at the time of AMA. The key take-away here is that getting a paper into the review process at a top journal can separate you from other candidates at AMA.
Percentage of Candidates with Papers Under First Review in "A" Journals at the time of AMA
| # Papers
Percentage of Candidates with Papers Past First Review in "A" Journals at the time of AMA
| # Papers|| 2007||2008|| 2009|| 2010|| 2011|| 2012|| 2013|
| 0||72.3% ||76.3%||79.2%||67.4%||67.4%||70.8%||70.2% |
| 1|| 14.5%||16.1%||18.2%||28.3%||22.2%||19.4%||17.0% |
| 2+||13.2% ||7.6%||2.6%||4.3%||10.4%||9.8%||12.8% |
Percentage of Candidates with Papers Published in "A" Journals at the time of AMA
| # Papers|| 2007||2008|| 2009|| 2010|| 2011|| 2012|| 2013|
| 0||74.7% ||91.4%||83.1%||87.0%||81.9%||88.8%||88.3% |
| 1|| 16.9%||6.5%||14.3%||10.9%||13.9%||8.2%||8.5% |
Q: When should I send out packets?
A: Packets go out when schools post jobs.
Right now, schools are working on hiring plans for the upcoming job market cycle. As much as you might like to know whether or not your dream school will be hiring for summer/ fall 2015, you'll have to wait until the Provost or President at that university signs off on funding a faculty line for marketing. Schools that are recruiting will typically post a formal announcement, and then you'll need to send in your materials via the preferred channel indicated in the job ad. Of course, you can always send packets to schools that have not indicated an opening, however, you might or might not get traction on those e-mails (and even when you do get traction, you will almost certainly need to apply formally at whatever point an opening is formally announced).
Generally speaking, schools will begin posting job announcements in May 2013. Announcements for positions with preliminary interviews at AMA will continue to be posted through the end of July. Then, more announcements will come after AMA, and subsequent postings will continue all the way through April 2015. In fact, only 40% of postings for the 2012-13 market cycle appeared prior to AMA. More on timing from the 2013 market is available here
. Once the 2013-14 cycle comes to a close in April, I'll put together another timing post for comparison.
*Some people refer to AMA as "the market" and would reference AMA 2014 as being "on the market" in 2014. While this is descriptive, my view is that the market designation should refer to when jobs start. For consistency across the entire job market cycle (which will span of May 2014 - April 2015), I will be referring to AMA 2014 as the start of the 2015 job market or part of the 2014-15 job market cycle. When the new job board is added in May 2014, it will be labeled Job Board (2015).
**Each calculation is independent of the others. For example, a candidate with 1 publication in an "A" journal might have 0, 1, or 2+ papers past first review and additionally, 0, 1, or 2+ papers under first review. Collapsing across categories, data collection prior to the 2013-14 market cycle revealed that 26.1% of candidates had some form of research activity in an "A" journal at the time of AMA (i.e. one or more papers in review or published). By implication, 73.9% of candidates had no papers published or in review at an "A" journal.
The 2014 Placements
page is now live. Congrats to candidates and schools on all the fantastic matches!
Candidates wishing to report placement details can do so by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out the questionnaire using the link provided in the Candidate Update e-mail from November. I will continue to update the 2014 Placements page as new announcements come in. Beginning next week, additions will be noted in the top section of the Placements page for ease of identifying new
For completeness, at present I have received placement details for 14 candidates who have elected not to announce at this point. This puts the total placement count at 55 individuals, and there are 54 candidates who remain active on the 2014 Candidates
page (refreshed on 11/13). This leaves 43 candidates (yet to respond with an update), who presumably have either accepted a position or who remain active in the market. So total placements and total active candidate counts are likely both higher than what is indicated here. The AMA DocSIG will provide a separate opportunity for placement announcements.
We have reached a point in the market cycle where some matches have been made (congrats to both sides!), some are in progress, and others are perhaps progressing toward "missed connection" status.
To help facilitate additional connections, the candidate page is currently being refreshed. All candidates
have been removed.
An updated candidate page will return on Wednesday, 11/13 featuring only candidates that have not yet accepted an offer (or who are not imminently about to accept).
Similar to last year, MarketingPhdJobs will also provide opportunity for candidates to announce placements. An announcements page will be added on December 1st.
Schools typically put together packages with impressive salaries, research budgets, discretionary accounts, and relocation packages -- but that doesn't mean everything has ben anticipated at the initial offer. The point of a negotiation is to calibrate a package to fit your unique set of circumstances. If there are things you need to be happy and productive, you should ask for them. In general, it's probably useful to provide a compelling reason -- and you're likely to have more luck with detailed, line-item types of requests when it comes to work-related, relocation, and "other" expenses versus asking for a number seemingly pulled out of thin air. Doing research to provide evidence that justifies/explains/quantifies your requests may be the obvious "secret" to getting the most from your negotiation.
Provided below is a brief compilation of things you might consider asking for (but that you might or might not get) -- along with some minor tips and commentary. This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it's a starting point for thinking through things that might be useful for your particular circumstances.
Special thanks goes out to Neil Brigden
who suggested this topic.
Items Listed in the Who Went Where Survey Results:
1. Salary (generally hard to move, competitive offers may work, but even then, not always -- probably not the most important thing to negotiate anyway)
2. Summer support (number of years).
3. Compensation for summer teaching (per section basis).
4. Publication bonuses (i.e. cash payment for hits in specified journals).
Work Related Expenses
1. Startup funds. Often this is related to research but not always.
2. Research budget (e.g. money for recurring needs such as software licenses, databases, paid research participants, RA time, coders, etc.).
3. Conference travel budget (note: faculty registration fees run roughly $500/conference, so update accordingly).
4. Technology budget.
1. Moving expenses (airfare, movers, etc.).
2. Housing trip.
3. Housing support. Depending on circumstances this could include any number of items ranging from access to cheap mortgage rates to downpayment assistance, or perhaps even money to cover expenses related to the sale of an existing home.
Items Not Listed in the Who Went Where Survey Results:
1. Health insurance "gap" coverage (e.g. you graduate in May, your job/health insurance starts in September). This could be either COBRA payments or a separate short-term policy.
2. Student loan repayment assistance.
3. Cash up front to smooth transitions (i.e. signing bonus). Often this is negotiated as 1/9 or 2/9 (and might or might not count as part of your "summer support").
1. Course load reductions (typically first year or first two years).
2. Course development credit (any new courses developed).
3. Junior sabbatical (one-semester teaching release, pre-tenure).
Beginning in October, candidates and schools start pairing up, which makes this week a good time to cover timing for when the market clears.
Historically, little was known about the specifics of this process. However, the 2013 Who Went Where (WWW) report includes data on the month in which positions were accepted (with info on salary to boot!) which offers the first insights into timing. This is reproduced below.
I also asked candidates last year to let me know when they accepted positions and received responses from 87 individuals. Whenever possible, I mapped responses to the week in which the offer was accepted. Tallies in the "Month Only" column indicate responses for which "month" was the finest level of detail available (despite follow up attempts). Data for the 2012-2013 market cycle appear in the table below. Not surprisingly, my results do not exactly match the WWW report (though the two are very close). There are several possible reasons for this including highly overlapping but slightly different sets of respondents and ambiguity with respect to how candidates defined "accepting an offer" (“verbal accept” date versus “contract signed” date).
Taking both data sets together, it looks as though the market begins to clear in the first half of November. This is slightly earlier than the timeline I had previously heard discussed anecdotally. The traditional rule of thumb was that schools wanted to make offers by Thanksgiving (so that candidates could celebrate with their families and be thankful for a successful market conclusion). And in looking at the WWW data, this story fits (35 offers were accepted in November) -- however my data seem to indicate that for many candidates, things were in motion several weeks in advance of Thanksgiving. Of course, this discrepancy does not entirely contradict the "Thanksgiving rule" as all offers accepted before Turkey Day are technically in place by Thanksgiving. It's simply the case that the window is somewhat larger than what (I presumed) a "Thanksgiving rule" would indicate.
As a final thought, I suspect that both the WWW report and my data are missing observations for the spring market. In comparing semesters, the WWW report indicates 68 hires in the fall and 20 hires in the spring. My data indicate 72 hires in the fall and 15 in the spring. Again, these numbers are not too far off from one another, but my gut is that the spring market is more active than what either source presently indicates. Ideally data collection will improve to track this more closely on a forward basis. I am also hoping to use the candidate page to help the market clear more efficiently this year. In mid-November I will clear the 2014 candidate list and provide an option for free agents to opt-in (as well as a chance for candidates to announce placements). Look for details on this in a future post.
Thank you to all 87 candidates last year who contributed! I (along with everyone else) truly appreciate the insights into market timing you made possible!
I trust everyone had a thoroughly exciting AMA! If you happen to have thoughts or reflections you'd be willing to share for next year -- send them to me while things are still fresh (email@example.com). I will, of course, anonymize for any future posts.
Two quick items from me:
1. I heard that job market candidates put together a Google doc to share room numbers for schools. Kudos to whoever put that together!! I applaud the collaborative approach!
2. Go get a flu shot now. With flyout season on the horizon, now is a good time to go get inoculated. This was the single best tip I heard at AMA, and completely worth sharing.
AMA is just a few days away, which means job market candidates are in the final stages of over-engineering slides. Here are a few items to help keep things in perspective.
Your only objective for AMA is to convert your interviews into flyouts. It doesn't matter how interested you are in the school right now, or where you think you fall on the school's consideration list. AMA can be unpredictable and there are probably a few surprises in store. Schools that look great on paper may not be as exciting on closer inspection, and schools that seemed lackluster after perusing a not-so-hot website may prove to be hidden gems. Regardless of what you think about the school going into the interview or after you walk out, AMA is your chance to sell each and every opportunity on why you are an outstanding candidate who would seriously consider an offer. There is still a long way to go before things get to "offer stage", so there's no need to worry about details like whether you could afford to live in city X or what salaries look like at school Z. But make no mistake -- at AMA, candidates are doing all (or nearly all) the selling. When you get invited for a flyout, the tables turn, and schools will have to sell you on why you should accept an offer. Until then, focus on ways of persuading schools on your interview list that you're interested and a strong fit for the position. Tip: you should be answering the question "why are you good for the school" rather than "why is the school good for you".
Sizing Up Your Options (and Your Competition)
As of this morning, 190 schools have announced positions. At this point last year, 195 schools had announced openings, so the market last year may be a reasonable gauge for how things will go this year. Based on the initial ratio reported in the Marketing Academia Labor Market Report, it's possible there are more research focused schools in the market this year as compared to last year, but assessing quality is highly subjective. A "quality" school for one candidate may not even make another candidate's consideration set. The bottom line is that it's historically a really good year to be a job market candidate. There are at least 144 candidates in the market this year, though the real number is probably somewhere closer to 200-250 total candidates as not all rookies elect to be listed on the site, and there are certainly advanced assistant and new associate candidates in the market in addition to rookie candidates. This year I asked candidates to provide information on their current research profile, and 119 individuals provided usable responses prior to the July 1st deadline. Here are some highlights from that data collection.
• 89.1% of respondents enter the market without an “A-Level” marketing publication ("A-Level" = JM, JMR, JCR, and MktSci).
• 26.1% of respondents presently have activity of some form (publication, revision, submission) at an “A-Level” marketing journal.
• 50.4% of respondents enter the market with a publication (at any level or type of journal).
• 23.5% of respondents enter the market without papers at any stage of the review process (submission, review, or publication).
These data paint a picture of how little separates most rookie candidates. Nine out of ten have not published in JM, JMR, JCR, or MktSci. Three out of four candidates have nothing in review or published at an "A-Level" marketing journal, though half of candidates have published something somewhere. The good news for candidates is that you don't have to compete strictly on your record (which, understandably is still in development). Your focus should be on what you can do going forward -- i.e. why your pipeline is strong, why your research is important, why you are going to publish a lot of important papers (in journals each particular school cares about). This persuasive argument however, is not likely to be based solely on your CV (i.e. number of manuscripts in preparation and in review). Rather, schools are probably going to be looking at the bigger picture. So, you should focus on telling a compelling story (with CV-based evidence to back up your claims).
Refining Your AMA Talk
1. Tell a compelling story. You have between 10 and 20 minutes (depending on the school) to communicate what your are working on, why it is important, and why you're a good fit for the school.
2. Consider your audience. The faculty you meet with will be sitting through somewhere between 15 and 40 AMA talks. They will not have read your papers. They may not be familiar with your research area, your advisor's work, or even your particular methodological approach. Make it easy for them to understand what you're up to and why it's important.
3. It's not a conference presentation. We have all given talks where you have 15 minutes to cover an entire paper's worth of data. You will have a chance to present a paper in a full 90 minute job talk at the flyout stage, so there's no need to try and do it all now. Stick to the big picture.
What to do with Mock Interview Feedback
For the past three to five years, you as a doctoral candidate have listened attentively and done whatever faculty have asked. As you prepare for AMA, it may be optimal to take mock interview feedback with a grain of salt. First and foremost, faculty are generously donating their time to help prep you for AMA, and their assistance is valuable. But you shouldn't feel obligated to make every change they suggest. For one thing, their feedback is likely to reflect their own preferences. So, if you follow all their advice, you will succeed in constructing a perfectly tailored talk for landing a job at your school (which, obviously won't happen). So, now you need to consider how likely it is you will land a job at a school with faculty whose preferences are similar to those of the faculty at your school. If this probability is high then you should largely listen to the advice. However, there are roughly six times as many AACSB/EQUIS/AMBA schools without phd programs as those that train doctoral students, so many candidates will end up at a school that's distinctly different from where they earned their Phd -- and I think faculty may lose sight of this. So, use the feedback to help understand what part of the talk needs polish -- Is it the "hook"? Are you trying to cram in too many details? Do you need to work on timing/delivery?
AMA ≠ THE Job Market
It's easy and understandable for it to feel like AMA will determine your future employment (and to some extent your larger life) prospects. This is not entirely true. AMA is where many research-focused schools recruit, but the 142 schools that have explicitly elected to interview candidates in Boston are perhaps only 30% - 40% of the complete market. Based on three years of data, it's likely another 200 - 300 school will post openings -- and this is in addition to schools that repost openings or find additional funding for more faculty lines. There are many great schools that will announce openings between AMA and April 2014, so it's ok to be picky. You don't have convince a school to fall in love with you by Monday next week or even by December. In fact, I'd argue that patience pays off.
1. Sit in on another candidate's AMA talk. Get a feel for what it's like on the other side of the flip chart. Adjust your own talk accordingly.
2. Present to someone not on your committee and also not from marketing (a faculty member from another area, a friend, another phd student). Get feedback on your overall story and delivery.
3. Relax as much as possible, and work on good answers to those small talk questions.
The job market process can be expensive. A good strategy for minimizing financial strain is through a 0% interest credit card.
Job market expenses fall into one of two categories:
(1) out of pocket (e.g. AMA hotel/travel, a new interview suit, etc.) and
(2) expenses incurred up front to reimbursed at a later point (e.g. flyout airfare, rental car, etc.)
Smoothing big expenses (i.e. AMA hotel/travel) makes it much easier to figure out how to pay August rent when your summer funding ran out in June. And isolating reimbursable expenses at 0% makes life much less stressful when you're waiting for reimbursement checks to show up in the mail. It's also nice to partition job market expenses from your regular activities to avoid hitting credit limits on cards you use actively for regular expenses. Also, those reimbursement checks usually show up quickly, but occasionally it takes months -- and notably processing speed is independent of any lag related to booking air travel weeks in advance of a campus visit (reimbursement processes are typically initiated at the end of the visit after all expenses have been incurred).
About 0% Interest Credit Card Offers
Offers typically range from 12 - 18 months of 0% interest. You will have to make a minimum payment each month, but you can carry a balance at no cost.
Among the current 0% offers on creditcards.com, here are some things worth considering for your particular scenario.
1. Timing. Some schools will start your salary or summer funding in June; in other cases your first paycheck might not hit your bank account until September 30th. Zero-percent for 18 months will cover you in all cases, though 12, 14, or 15 months might work for many candidates.
2. Total Charges. If you anticipate charging $5000 or more, you might want to consider a 0% card that also includes a cash back reward. Typically cash back rewards are set at 1% and require accumulation of $50 in credits for redemption, which is why the $5000 figure is important ($5000 x .01 = $50).
3. Initial Bonus. A few cards offer a $100 reward when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. AMA alone will probably get you past that threshold.
4. Irrelevant features. If you anticipate charging less than $5000 in the next year, the cash back feature is moot. If you use the card solely for job market expenses (highly recommended), then quarterly rotating bonus categories such as grocery and department store purchases are largely irrelevant.
5. Credit limit. This will only be assigned if you are approved for a card. But you may need to evaluate whether the credit limit you are offered will get you through interview season. If not, you can call to request a higher limit once you've made a payment or two or you can sign up for another card with a different bank.
Potentially Interesting Offers
Citi Simplicity: 18 months at 0% interest. No penalties or late fees ever. This looks like the lowest stress option and good for those new to the 0% credit card offer game. Charge away, and pay things off when money comes in.
Discover IT: 14 months at 0% interest. 1% cash back reward + category bonuses. The customer service feature may also be valuable if you are unfamiliar with details or just like talking to a real person when you have questions.
CapitalOne Quicksilver (not listed on creditcards.com): 0% interest through July 2014. $100 cash reward when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. 1.5% cash back on all purchases. This could be a good option for credit card pros looking to maximize rewards.
As with any credit card offer, it's critical that you read the fine print regarding details as to how interest charges are calculated, how rates are determined, what happens if you carry a balance past the offer period, etc. But provided you qualify and are comfortable navigating the system, a 0% card might help you breathe a little easier while you're on the market. Also keep in mind that this system is designed to help you monitor and coordinate job market expenses. It breaks down somewhat if you attempt to smooth consumption for other expenses such as groceries, a new laptop, an HDTV, etc. In general, I would recommend against using a 0% card as a life expense smoothing strategy -- that professor salary will kick in soon enough. However, the system may come in handy next summer for tracking and coordinating reimbursable moving expenses. Finally, I receive no benefit -- financial or otherwise -- from any actions you take (such as clicking on links or signing up for a credit card). There are no referral bonuses or other incentives in place. This post is intended only to help you think through details of the job market that might not be immediately obvious as you focus on getting your CV and other application materials in order.
I received several excellent responses to my open request for advice from candidates. Special thanks go out to Zoe Chance
, Derick Davis
and Rob Smith
for particularly fantastic tips!
Here are two fantastic roadmaps for AMA. Both are worth reading several times.
Other items to note about AMA:
(1) You do not need to register for the AMA conference. This makes sense as you will not be attending conference sessions while you are in Boston.
(2) You may need to register with AMA Academic Placement services -- but only if you have interviews with schools using the AMA Academic Placement Services Career Fair. Of course, you won't know details about your interview schedule until immediately prior to AMA. If you are invited to interview with schools using the Career Fair space, it's mandatory that you pay the Career Fair registration fee, which is $50 if you register by 8/2 and $75 after (including on site). The best plan is to put a reminder on your calendar for Aug 1. At that point you should have good info on what your interview schedule looks like and whether or not it's useful/necessary to register.
Other Things That Are Good to Know
Call in the Pros
You don't have to tackle the market on your own. There are professionals who can help make your job talk look like a TED talk.
(1) Consult a graphic designer for your AMA slide deck. Elance.com may be a good resource for contracting inexpensive designers.
(2) Have your AMA deck printed professionally on high-quality paper or card stock. Consider 11" x 17" format.
(3) Find an acting coach to work with you on your job talk delivery. Your goals are to communicate your ideas with confidence and enthusiasm. Find someone to help you fake this :-)
(4) Take improv classes. Note: this could also be a source for finding an acting coach.
(5) Work with a copy editor to get your job market paper polished before flyouts. Even though the project may still be a "working paper", you can make sure the "story" is streamlined and that the document is free of typos and grammatical errors.
"Dr. Karen" is a former academic and current professional mentor for academics. Her site, www.theprofessorisin.com is absolutely fantastic and filled with lots of great tips in addition to what's included here. Additionally, Dr. Karen offers editing and consulting services. Job market material consults run $100/hr, and she offers discounts for advance payments -- it just might be the best $400 you spend this year.
Focus on What You Can Control
Things you can control:
(1) Your packets are impressive, thorough, complete and organized
(2) Your CV is well-formatted and error free
(3) Your website is informative and useful in communicating who you are
(4) Your job talk is well-prepared, you have anticipated questions and have answers ready
(5) How you present yourself physically and verbally, what you say to anyone in the field during the job market, the signals you send into the marketplace about preferences (if any)
Things you cannot control:
(1) Schools -- who is hiring, what positions they are hiring for, the candidates they choose to interview at AMA, whom schools choose to fly out, when schools make offers (if an offer is made at all)
(2) Other Candidates -- their CVs, their preferences, how long people hold on to offers, so on and so forth
You are the only one who is going to land you that great job, so focus on you, and be yourself.
Be Yourself and also, Be a Better Person
Eye contact. Manners. Firm handshakes. Remember names.
Have good answers to small talk questions like "What are your hobbies?" Note: all the more reason to take that improv class.
Skim "How to Win Friends and Influence People" if you need help.
Sleeping pills. Ear plugs. Glasses. Energy drinks. Food.
Be ready to respond to "What questions do you have for us?" Good options: Do you have a regular research series? What is the expected course load (number/type of preps) for a new faculty member? How large are typical undergrad and grad sections?
The candidate profile questionnaire is now available!
Click here to be included on the 2014 Candidate Page.
The candidate listing serves multiple functions. For one, it makes it easy for search committees to peruse profiles. Additionally -- and perhaps more importantly -- I see the candidate page as an opportunity for scholars to network and to identify potential collaborators. As a job market candidate you have a unique opportunity to connect with other academics and to make them aware of your work. In many respects, this is an important function of AMA and the job market in general -- you get to share your research with dozens of scholars, tell the field what you're up to and why it's important, and perhaps receive constructive feedback or get pointed to other work that might be related. A public listing of emerging scholars provides a valuable supplement to the mechanisms already in place. It allows you to promote your work both within the field and among your cohort. My hope is that being listed on the candidates page leads to new and fruitful avenues of research for you.
This year, I am making an effort to collect data about broader candidate preferences to help assess the extent to which CV and non-CV factors influence candidate-university matches. All information is confidential and will only be used in aggregate. As a gesture of appreciation, individuals who complete the survey by
June 28 July 3 will receive a summary document outlining the distribution of candidate research productivity. The content and style will be similar to page 12 of the 2013 Who Went Where report. Thanks in advance for your assistance!
The 2014 Candidate Page will launch July 1.