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I have a friend who got a job at a teaching school this year after working in government for 6 years, FWIW. I also know of another person who left for 3 years and got a teaching job; maybe these are atypical cases. I suspect, though, that persons who apply from alt-ac jobs stand out, and that being different and having different experience might actually help rather than hurt. Again, I think the biggest obstacle is not getting stuck in inertia once you leave.


It all depends on how well you can relate the alt-ac job to philosophy. If you're helping program AI, and your philosophical research area is AI, then the alt-ac job isn't going to hurt you, probably. If you're a waiter at a restaurant though, that alt-ac job isn't going to help you, to say the least.

1. Ask yourself whether you can sell your alt-ac job to philosophy search committees.

2. Ask yourself whether you'll be able to publish while working at an alt-ac job.

3. Ask yourself whether adjuncting or the like wouldn't do more for your career in philosophy than an alt-ac job? Teaching experience is probably very important to teaching schools.

4. Ask yourself whether you're over confident in your ability to secure a TT academic job. Recent research posted on dailynous is that placement rates for males who work in core philosophy is 26% (if I remember correctly). http://dailynous.com/2017/06/21/area-specialization-gender-placement-close-look-data-guest-post-carolyn-dicey-jennings/

I suspect most of that 26% is placed the first year out from the PhD based on other data I've seen. So, I'd estimate that at this point your chance of securing a TT position is probably under 15%. Do your own research. Be realistic.

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