Market share and recent hiring trends in anthropology faculty positions

Robert J. Speakman, Carla S. Hadden, Matthew H. Colvin, Justin Cramb, K. C. Jones, Travis W. Jones, Isabelle Lulewicz, Katharine G. Napora, Katherine L. Reinberger, Brandon T. Ritchison, Alexandra R. Edwards, Victor D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between 1985 and 2014, the number of US doctoral graduates in Anthropology increased from about 350 to 530 graduates per year. This rise in doctorates entering the work force along with an overall decrease in the numbers of tenure-track academic positions has resulted in highly competitive academic job market. We estimate that approximately 79% of US anthropology doctorates do not obtain tenure-track positions at BA/BS, MA/MS, and PhD institutions in the US. Here, we examine where US anthropology faculty obtained their degrees and where they ultimately end up teaching as tenure-track faculty. Using data derived from the 2014–2015 AnthroGuide and anthropology departmental web pages, we identify and rank PhD programs in terms of numbers of graduates who have obtained tenure-track academic jobs; examine long-term and ongoing trends in the programs producing doctorates for the discipline as a whole, as well as for the subfields of archaeology, bioanthropology, and sociocultural anthropology; and discuss gender inequity in academic anthropology within the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0202528
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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