Nov 14, 2014

Timing: Market Clearing (2014)

This marks the second installment examining when candidates accept positions (the inaugural post is available here).
This year offers insights into both the timing of market exits and the total size of the rookie market. We'll tackle those one at a time.


When do candidates accept positions?

As you might guess, candidates and schools tend to pair up in October and November.
In total, somewhere between 70% and 75% of candidates accept a position prior to the end of the calendar year.


Data on timing from the 2014 Who Went Where (WWW) report are reproduced in the first table, followed by timing data from Marketing Phd Jobs (MPJ) in the second table.

A (sort of) quick note on timing. I asked candidates to indicate the date they "accepted" a position (this date is mapped to week whenever possible, and "month only" indicates that only the month was provided). While determining the "accept date" seems relatively straightforward, there's actually a lot of gray area. Generally schools make an offer, and then there's a negotiation of terms (e.g. research budget, teaching releases, salary). In some cases, an "official offer letter" is produced prior to the negotiations (to be updated based on any new terms that are agreed to). In other cases, the initial offer is verbal (or perhaps preliminary terms are outlined in e-mail), and then once the negotiations are finalized, the "official offer letter" is produced. In both cases, there's a window between "accepting" and signing the final "official offer letter". Those things usually take at least a day and perhaps up to a week to get turned around. I left it up to candidates to determine which date best reflected when they exited the market.



The WWW and MPJ numbers differ for several reasons. First, the WWW data reflect 140 total placements, with 121 of those placements being in the US (with the later constituting the dataset for calculations included in the WWW report). In contrast, Marketing Phd Jobs received profile information from 171 candidates (worldwide), though not all of those individuals went on to accept positions. Despite the count differences, the general pattern for exit timing is similar (not surprising given the high degree of overlap in data).

However, the fact that the counts differ by so much raises some interesting questions about the size of the rookie market.


So, just how big is the rookie market?

My count is 205.

That breaks down as follows:
140 candidates completed the WWW survey.
171 candidates were listed (at some point) on Marketing Phd Jobs.
Naturally, there's a lot of overlap.

98 candidates appeared on MPJ and completed the WWW survey.
72 of the 171 MPJ candidates did not complete the WWW report.
35 of the 140* WWW respondents did not create a profile on MPJ.

That gives us a total of 205 individuals.


*not all 140 individuals who completed the WWW survey are listed by name. As a result, the first and third lines above do not total 140.


It turns out the rookie market was larger than the estimate from the Labor Market Report (LMR) which indicated 150 candidates were expected -- which means, of course, the LMR was off by 55 candidates. Naturally, the "supply" number indicated in the LMR depends on the number of department chairs who respond to the survey, and it would not capture individuals from allied fields who go on the marketing academic job market. However, the size of the gap is somewhat surprising. Fortunately, even at 205 candidates, there are still plenty of positions to go around. Last time I checked 486 > 205 ;-)


As always, you can send comments, corrections, and fruit baskets to


A final note to candidates on the market for 2015:
Given that we are half way through November, it's to be expected that some of you have accepted positions. I'm currently finalizing the process for reporting placements. That should be ready next week and will appear as an option (with instructions) in the candidate profile "Edit" view. I will send out a note when that's ready to go. The Placements page will appear on December 1, which is the same timing as last year.