This week with the British spending review everywhere in the news, universities and their staff are waiting with bated breath to find out what the cuts will mean for them in practice. So how will tuition fees and spending cuts affect you as an academic jobseeker?
For those looking for their first permanent position, times are hard at the moment. A few institutions and departments are hiring at the moment, but many are not. Retiring professors are not being replaced, nor are those staff members who go on sick leave or maternity leave. Instead of hiring permanent or temporary replacements to cover these roles, universities are encouraging their current staff pool to pick up the slack and cover the missing person.
However, things are not all bad for those trying to add variety to their CVs. Because departments are reluctant to hire permanent staff, that does mean that the occasional snippets of teaching are available to those who can move around doing a few hours teaching here and there.
Unfortunately it looks as though things will only get worse and not better. Soon staff already in post will be required to do more teaching and heads of department will be under strict instructions to keep even tighter control of their wages bill.
So what should a jobseeker do? You have to double your efforts to develop your skills profile and your experience to make you stand out from the crowd. Networking becomes even more important so that you are in the perfect position if a role does become vacant. And make sure that you are as adaptable as possible, willing to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.