state of the university teaching job market

Getting a full-time faculty position is a difficult feat to achieve these days. There are many factors that have led to the increase in the ratio of adjuncts to full-time faculty that are unlikely to disappear in the near future.

Here is an article discussing recent efforts of adjuncts attempting to unionize. The take-away from this posting is that a great teaching position can sometimes depend disproportionately on who you know, timing, and luck, and is never a sure-thing right after you graduate. Also, I am not trying to knock the adjunct lifestyle, but it is certainly not easy or dependable.



About utagtateaching

This blog is dedicated to providing resources to the Graduate Teaching Assistants in the UTA MFA program pertaining to teaching strategies, methods, and materials. We aim to start a public discussion that serves to enhance the classroom experience for both teacher and student.


  1. Thinking about future jobs is scary and daunting, especially when we are heading in the same direction as other adjuncts.


  2. Michelle Pennington

    I found this article very interesting, and even though I could potentially become an adjunct professor after I graduate, I kind of feel like the amount that they are getting paid is worthy of the amount of hours that they are working. Let’s do the math, if the national average is $2987 per 3 credit hour, and let’s say the class is exactly like the one I am teaching with 6 hours a week in class time for 16 weeks, thats 96 hours total. This would mean that they were getting paid $31 an hour. Now I know that there is prep time too, so lets add in another 3 hours a week give or take, this adds an additional 48 hours, and this would mean that adjunct would make $20 an hour. I feel like this is not that bad in terms of the amount of hours worked to how much they are getting paid. I guess I’m just not sure what is a reasonable amount to be paid after obtaining a master’s degree? Especially since a bachelor’s degree is now becoming equivalent to what a high school diploma use to be valued at.

    What I don’t agree with is the uncertainty of the position. I don’t think its fair that adjunct professors plan their lives around teaching the class they are assigned and it could potentially get cancelled up through the first week.

    Since adjunct professors go in knowing that they are part time, I would hope that they would plan to continue their artist practice and do more in that aspect for their career. And if they have a substantial amount of debt, I would hope that they would get an additional job. Believe me, I understand the hardship of higher education, while paying for my bachelor’s degree, costing me about $50,000 total. I paid for half of it up front while working 40 hours a week throughout undergrad. The rest are in loans, and I will have more loans after completing graduate school. Obviously it wasn’t the ideal situation, but the world has changed and we no longer really have an option to work a job for 40 years and then retire and collect our pension. I wish I could say that it was still this way, but we all just have to work hard doing what we love and make the best of it.



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