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Number of job ads on LinguistList throughout the year.

What's a good time to look for jobs in linguistics/computational linguistics?

If you are looking for a job in linguistics/computational linguistics, then one obvious question is: At what time of the year will there be jobs? Is there a particularly good/bad time? Or is there a constant stream of job openings?

To answer this question, I wrote a script that crunched through newsletters from LinguistList [html link], which, among other things, contains job ads for linguists/computational linguists. The script went through all LL newsletters from 2015 t.e.m.* 2017, which is 864 emails. For each job opening, the script categorised whether it's an opening for 1) a professorship or similar, 2) a PostDoc, 3) some other academic position, or 4) an industry job. The script also counted how many jobs fell into which category for each month.

I've then plotted the results using R, which is the plot above.

The graph tells us three things in particular: 1) Professorships and alike are the most frequent kind of job offering on LL, pushing everything else to the lower third of the scale. 2) If you want to become a prof, then Sep and Oct are a particularly good time to look for jobs. 3) That said, there's always some kind of a stream of jobs, for all four categories.

Because of 1), I've plotted the same things without professorships. This is the plot below.


The second plot reveals a few more things; let's focus on three points in particular. 1) The top three months for PostDocs are Jan, Feb, Apr, with Jul being a close runners up. Bar Aug to Dec is not the best time for PostDoc applications but there will still be some. 2) There's a constant stream of industry jobs. However, there's a bit of a low in Dec and a bigger slump in Apr. As people have been pointing out to me this is probably due to the Christmas break and the Easter break, respectively. 3) The "other academic jobs" category peaks in Jul to Oct.

All files can be found on github [html link]. I wrote this post with zero expectations to get anything back. I enjoyed the project and wanted a write up. However, if you insist on giving something back, then feel free to send some amount of Nanos. I love Nanos [html link]. Here are my address and QR code:


*t.e.m. = tot en met, Dutch for "to and with/including."

tsj; originally posted on 17 Feb 2018
last modified: 12 Mar 2018