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Thinking Beyond Your Degree: Eleven Suggestions for a Competitive Job Search

By Dr. Rebecca Dirksen (Indiana University)
*This article originally appeared in SEM Student News Volume 12.1, Spring/Summer 2016.

There’s a great deal of handwringing over the state of today’s job market. This anxiety makes sense: we are facing restructuring of the academic world, with a move toward fewer tenure-track positions for humanities scholars. Moreover, there’s a generalized (and often poorly articulated and thus poorly received) antipathy toward academics, as public dialogues turn to “elitism,” “irrelevancy,” and “employability.” Technically, however, academic job rates for early career ethnomusicologists have been relatively constant if not higher over the past several years, based on the unscientific measure of job postings to the job wiki, ethnomusicology-related listservs, and the Chronicle—although as a discipline we have no firm grasp on where these figures will stand in just five years. But let’s be blunt: even the most accomplished ABDs and recent PhDs with the best…