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Philosophy graduates rack up tenure-track jobs, despite shrinking job market

June 15, 2017, by Shannon Fenney Andre

Li Kang G'17
Li Kang G'17

The job search can be challenging when pursuing a career in academia. For students interested in teaching and research in philosophy, it can be even more difficult.

According to Ben Bradley, the Sutton Professor and chair of philosophy, the number of tenure-track positions has declined, and, with that, positions are seeing an even greater number of qualified applicants. Despite these challenges, the Department of Philosophy has experienced outstanding placement rates for their Ph.D. graduates.

Kendall Fisher G'17 and Kang
Kendall Fisher G'17 and Kang

To better prepare their students, the philosophy department has implemented programs over the last five years to enhance career development and job search opportunities. It has instituted a professional development seminar for advanced graduate students, in which a faculty member works one-on-one, over the course of a semester, to develop students’ application portfolios, including writing samples, dissertation abstracts and syllabi.

The department also has increased funding for graduate student travel to conferences, creating more opportunities for students to network with and gain feedback from professionals in the field.

In addition, doctoral candidates are getting critical hands-on experience in the classroom.

The results of these efforts speak for themselves. For many of the recent graduates, though, the world-class faculty and caliber of the program have made the greatest impact on their experience.

Travis Timmerman G'16 (far left) and Yishai Cohen G'15 (far right) flank a group of Syracuse philosophy students.
Travis Timmerman G'16 (far left) and Yishai Cohen G'15 (far right) flank a group of Syracuse philosophy students.

“The philosophy job market is probably more difficult than it has ever been. The number of Ph.D.s applying for jobs has been increasing, while the number of full-time jobs available appears to be stagnant or even shrinking,” says Travis Timmerman G'16, assistant professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University. “The fact that so many Syracuse graduates have so quickly secured full-time jobs is a testament to the quality of Syracuse’s philosophy Ph.D. program and to the faculty who have mentored graduates before they went on the market.”

Other recent philosophy placements include the following:

• Andrew Corsa G'11, assistant professor at Lynn University (Florida)

• Sean Clancy G'17, tenure-track assistant professor at the East China Normal University

• Nicole Dular G’17, visiting assistant professor at Franklin College

• Kendall Fisher G’17, tenure-track assistant professor at Seattle University

• Li Kang G’17, two-year teaching position at Vassar College

• Preston Werner G’16, tenure-track lecturer at Hebrew University

• Yishai Cohen G’15, tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Southern Maine

• Ryan Hubbard G’15, tenure-track assistant professor at Gulf Coast State College

• Rich Booher G’15, tenure-track professor at De Anza College

• Mihnea Capraru G’15, assistant professor at Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan)

• John Monteleone G’13, tenure-track assistant professor at Le Moyne College

“It is exciting for me and the department to see their impressive accomplishments. We are proud of their successes,” Bradley adds.

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin