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Higher Education Job Openings and Employment Surge in 2010

by Lisa Jordan, HigherEdJobs

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Advertised job openings in higher education surged 44.4 percent in 2010 compared to a decline of 27.2 percent in 2009, according to the newly released Higher Education Employment Report from HigherEdJobs.

The growth in higher education job postings appears to be consistent with increases in the number of jobs for the sector. Higher education employment growth continued to follow historical trends during the fourth quarter of 2010, virtually unaffected by the national economic recovery or the recession that preceded it. Higher education employment grew 3.2 percent during Q4 and was up 3.1 percent for the year, both record highs since at least 2005.

"Higher education continues to be one of the more stable sectors of our economy," says John Ikenberry, president of HigherEdJobs. "Throughout the recession, the number of jobs in academia continued to grow. And, while advertised job openings in higher education decreased significantly during the recession, they have since rebounded strongly and are now above pre-recessionary levels."

The report also found that colleges and universities continued to focus on recruiting administrators and executives over faculty, a trend that began with the declared end of the recession. In absolute numbers, however, recruitment for all position types, including faculty, is up. Also, reliance on part-time positions -- as manifested by increases in part-time job postings during the recession -- has moderated as the economy begins to recover.

In addition, hiring and employment at community colleges continued to be strong in Q4 2010 and throughout 2010, although with changes in Congress, the recent focus on community colleges may fade.

From a geographic perspective, higher education job postings increased in all regions of the country, with the greatest growth observed in the Mountain and New England regions, and the weakest in the West South Central area.

The report examines job posting data from colleges and universities that have been continuously subscribed to the company's unlimited posting plan for four years or longer, a cohort of over 700 schools, as well as data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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Reply NB said...
I dont know if I would agree with this assessment. Since I live in the Northeast region and have seen fewer jobs in the NYC area.

02/25/2011 03:20 PM

Reply kmpEnter Your Name said...
I would be interested to see the methodology used for this study as it seems to contradict most of what I have seen and read.

02/26/2011 10:39 AM

Reply Rob Freedman said...
Information about how the report was compiled can be found in the full report PDF here:

02/27/2011 09:46 AM

Reply SER said...
I visit higheredjobs everyday to see the list of new job postings. I like to keep track of hiring trends. Anecdotally, I'd agree with this short report. The absolute number of daily new job postings has steadily increased. A couple of years ago it was a hundred or fewer, then 200 or so last year. By late last year, you would easily see 300 or 400 new postings each day. Even today, there are 398. I'm sure the numbers are noisy (repeat postings, etc), but even still, numbers are up in absolute terms.

03/01/2011 09:47 PM

Reply William G. Hewett Jr said...
I would be interested in knowing to what degree (if any)the retirement of the baby boom generation effects these numbers.

03/17/2011 04:06 PM