Faculty job openings in the US are significantly down this year, Science Careers reports.
Its estimates find that science, technology, engineering, and medicine job openings are down by 70 percent. For instance, it notes that 173 advertisements for US-based jobs were posted to the Science Careers job board between July and September of 2020, as compared to 571 ads last year. The University of Pennsylvania's Robert Zemsky tells Science Careers that the lack of job opportunities largely reflects ongoing concerns on the part of universities, particularly public universities, regarding the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He adds that universities are grappling with reduced enrollment and revenue, leading to hiring freezes.
This lack of job opportunities may then lead postdocs to try to remain in their positions, as Georgia State University's Paula Stephan tells Science Careers, noting that that may then affect newly minted PhDs looking for such postdoc positions. Or, University of Massachusetts Medical School's Cynthia Fuhrmann, adds that the lack of academic jobs may push scientists onto other, non-academic career paths.