The Changing Profile of Tenure-Track Faculty in Archaeology

Justin Cramb, Brandon T. Ritchison, Carla S. Hadden, Qian Zhang, Edgar Alarcón-Tinajero, Xianyan Chen, K. C. Jones, Travis Jones, Katharine Napora, Matthew Veres, Victor D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goal for many PhD students in archaeology is tenure-track employment. Students primarily receive their training by tenure-track or tenured professors, and they are often tacitly expected—or explicitly encouraged—to follow in the footsteps of their advisor. However, the career trajectories that current and recent PhD students follow may hold little resemblance to the ones experienced by their advisors. To understand these different paths and to provide information for current PhD students considering pursuing a career in academia, we surveyed 438 archaeologists holding tenured or tenure-track positions in the United States. The survey, recorded in 2019, posed a variety of questions regarding the personal experiences of individual professors. The results are binned by the decade in which the respondent graduated. Evident patterns are discussed in terms of change over time. The resulting portraits of academic pathways through the past five decades indicate that although broad commonalities exist in the qualifications of early career academics, there is no singular pathway to obtaining tenure-track employment. We highlight the commonalities revealed in our survey to provide a set of general qualifications that might provide a baseline set of skills and experiences for an archaeologist seeking a tenure-track job in the United States.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Archaeological Practice
Issue number4
Early online dateMay 5 2022
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • tenure track
  • demografía profesoral
  • mercado laboral
  • cualificaciones académicas
  • posgrado
  • asesoría
  • tenencia docente
  • professorial demographics
  • job market
  • academic qualifications
  • graduate school
  • mentoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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