The Academic Job Market

The academic job market is complicated and ever-changing. NCA has gathered data, information, and resources about the academic job market generally and the job market in Communication specifically, to assist job seekers and job providers. Here you'll find information about the number of Ph.D.s produced in Communicationdata about job positions in Communicationtenure-track vs. non tenure-track academic positions, academic salaries, and resources and other information sources

Number of Ph.D.s Produced in Communication 
 Total PhDs 2004-2014 

 Source: NSF, 2014 SED   

1 From the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates. The NSF historically categorized earned doctorates in Communication with Librarianship. There are fewer doctoral programs in Library & Information Sciences than in Communication. The NSF also reports separate figures for earned doctorates in Communication (including the subcategories of Communication Research, Communication Theory, Mass Communication/Media Studies, Film/Radio/TV/Digital Media, and Communication/General).

Job Positions Data 

NCA annually tracks the job postings submitted to CRTNET, the NCA online Career Center, and Spectra magazine ( The chart below reports the total number of job postings by year for 2009-2015. The figures reported are for discrete job postings and control for duplication.

Jobs Posted 2009-2015 

NCA conducts extensive analyses of job postings in Communication. NCA also reports on job listings data each year:

There is much discussion in the news media and elsewhere about the decline in academic jobs across the humanities and social sciences. NCA has analyzed the job postings data from several related disciplines to determine how the Communication job market compares:  

Related Disciplines Jobs Postings 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also maintains employment data for numerous sectors of the economy, including “Communications Teachers, Postsecondary." This employment category includes individuals who “teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting, and journalism. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.” 

  • Number of individuals employed nationally in this category, 2015: 29,050
  • Mean annual wage, 2015: $70,290
  • Individuals employed in College, Universities, and Professional Schools, 2015: 20,630
  • Individuals employed in Junior Colleges, 2015: 8,330
  • Top five states for postsecondary Communications Teachers employment, 2015: California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio
  • Top five metropolitan areas for postsecondary Communications Teachers employment, 2015: New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Phoenix

Tenure-Track vs. Non Tenure-Track/Adjunct Teaching 

NCA's analysis of job postings from 2005-2010 reveals that of 3,328 posted job announcements, 549 were identified as adjunct/non tenure-track/visiting positions--a total of 17 percent of all job announcements.

 Tenure NonTenure Postings 

The NCA 2015 Academic Job Listings in Communication Report shows that 57 percent of 2015 job postings sought individuals for tenured or tenure-track positions. The largest number of position postings by far, 40 percent, were for tenure-track assistant professor positions.  


Academic Salaries 

The 2015-16 Faculty in Higher Education Salary Survey Report, from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), contains detailed aggregate salary information from 743 institutions for 241,491 full-time faculty in 32 general disciplines.


 Resources and Other Information