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Been There, Done (and doing) That

Ooooh! I have a lot of experience directly in this area.

For background: my first gig post-PhD was as a VAP of X. Then I had two years as a philosophy postdoc. Now I'm back to VAPing in X again.

My experience: sans a bonafide PhD in X, you'll never be competitive for jobs in X, no matter how many VAPs you have, how X-ish your pubs are, etc. I just don't think search committees make it far enough down your CV to see those things. They see PhD, Philosophy, U of Y and they throw you out. Regardless of why, the result is the same: I applied to TT jobs in X for four years, never got even a nibble.

This *could* be unique to my X. But I kinda doubt it. That said, you should probably try once, just so you don't regret not trying. But then I'd recommend focusing on philosophy, because it wastes *a lot* of time when you try to apply in two fields.

Good luck, yo.

Marcus Arvan

Been There: that is a *really* good point! Sometimes it is literally a part of the position advertised that one must have a PhD in the field the department is in. If you don’t have a PhD in the area, the search committee may throw you out because they literally have to: they may not have a choice. I’ve seen this happen.


It does sometimes happen. I know of a Philosophy PhD in a Poli Sci department, another in a Psych department, and at least a few in Business departments.

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