How Many Academic Jobs Should I Apply For?

When people think of a career in academia, they often focus on tenure-track faculty positions. But there are a range of other jobs within higher institutions that engage many of the positive elements of academia without some of the negatives.

These include: Getting your work published in high-quality journals, engaging with other academics and delivering classroom lectures to students. They also require resilience, as academic life is not always straightforward.


Academic researchers enjoy a wide range of career opportunities. They may present their work at international conferences, engage with researchers from other institutions, and deliver classroom and online lectures. Their responsibilities also include writing research papers and applying for funding.

It’s common for people with a four-year undergraduate Masters qualification to progress straight onto a PhD course and enter the academic world of research. For those with more experience, they can choose to work freelance or on short-term contracts, as and when the opportunity arises.

Achieving a position as an academic researcher is competitive and time-consuming. It’s essential to know the selection procedure in your area of expertise and understand how to best prepare yourself for interviews. Ultimately, it’s about convincing the department that you will make a difference to their research programme, rather than your paper pedigree or number of first-author papers in “top” journals.


Teacher hiring efforts tend to ramp up around April and May as schools get a clear picture of their staffing needs for the next academic year. Consequently, teachers will likely receive a number of interviews during this time, and it is important that applicants are well prepared for their interviews.

Interviews for teaching positions are a great opportunity to impress prospective employers and show that you have a clear vision of how you could make an impact at their school. Applicants should be prepared to answer questions pertaining to classroom management, student learning, and their own teaching philosophy.

During the interview process, Bloomer says that he and his colleagues ask questions to gauge the candidate’s personality, interests, and passions. Those personal questions can be the difference between getting a job and being overlooked.


In a recent job search for professors, applicants were asked to submit a letter, CV, teaching statement, and research statement, plus the names of three references. After the initial round, the committee reviewed all application materials and invited candidates for interviews at the university.

Academic administrators typically work year-round and are on call, even when classes are not in session. They may also be responsible for coordinating daily operations of a department, office, or school, or facilitating research and other academic studies.

Academic job applications are often a lot more demanding than conventional employment applications, and are likely to require substantial revisions. It’s important to think carefully about how the skills you learned and practiced in academe could translate into an administrative role, and how that will impact your application materials.


For our University, Commercialisation refers to the commercial development of IP created by our academic teams. This can be achieved through licensing to existing commercial organisations or the creation of new spin-out companies that take products to market.

The goal is to create a consistent portrait of yourself across the job documents. Show, don’t tell. Be clear and assertive. Do not squirm or hedge your claims in the documents, such as by using verbs like “try” or “endeavour”. These will give the impression that you are less confident and less certain of yourself than you actually are.


Many graduate employers will be interested in your resilience: the ability to cope with setbacks, unforeseen events and obstacles. Resilience is about a range of qualities, such as problem-solving skills, self-awareness and adaptability. It is also about having a support system, managing stress and identifying when you need to take time out.

The graduate job market can be challenging and rejection is common. Building your resilience now will help you to keep going when the path becomes rocky. It will also equip you with the very attributes that employers value – tenacity and determination. Quiet the noise and discover what matters to you and use it to prioritise your efforts, empower your decisions and give yourself a sense of agency.

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