I want to start applying for faculty positions for Computer science positions in the US. Still march is good time to apply? Are there is a chance to get interviews or I am late?

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    There is a pretty consistent annual rhythm in university hiring for tenure track positions at major university. Right now you are most likely too late. But, look around.
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 28, 2020 at 3:17
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    March might be a good time to start preparing for a faculty position that will begin in September 2022, if you are in a field where jobs are relatively plentiful. Feb 28, 2020 at 3:26
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    September 2022? Feb 28, 2020 at 5:18
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    Perhaps a joke, but with a needle. There is a Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree is fifty years ago. The next best time is right now.
    – Buffy
    Feb 28, 2020 at 12:26
  • Yes, September 2022. My department's application deadline for faculty positions starting in Fall 2020 was in December 2019.
    – JeffE
    May 17, 2020 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Still march is good time to apply?

It's possible that Anonymous Physicist was right in the comments and that your field is such that job searches for positions that begin 1.5 years from now are happening right now. (If so, go apply!) But, let's assume that's not the case for the sake of this discussion.

The best time to apply, as I suspect you know, is fall / early winter. This is an unfortunate reality that must be acknowledged.

Are there is a chance to get interviews or I am late?

You're indeed quite late, but there's certainly a chance. Some jobs will indeed be posted; faculty members leave unexpectedly due to illness or other opportunities, searches on the ideal hiring timeline fail, and so forth.

There will be fewer job opportunities now than there would have been had you begun hunting in the fall, and moreover, it's very possible that the jobs you find could be worse in nature (such as 1-year positions instead of tenure-track, etc.) at this time. However:

I think you should apply for jobs now.

Reason 1: If you apply for jobs now, you might not get a job. Perhaps you could even say that you probably won't get a job -- I don't know whether that is true or not. However, the following is certainly true: If you don't apply now, you definitely won't get a job.

Reason 2: Applying for jobs is a nontrivial skill, and it is likely that your first cover letters, interviews, etc. won't be the best that you are capable of. Practice now. If it doesn't work out, then you'll be more polished for when it's time to try again in the fall.

Reason 3: If you get a suboptimal job (such as a one-year visiting position) at a school you like, it is possible that there will be a tenure-track job intended to replace it, and it is possible that serving in such a position well would give you an inside track to the follow-up position. Both of these are quite far from guarantees, of course.

Reason 4: It is conceivable that you do some digging and don't find any jobs you like. In that case, you can just not apply for anything, and you're no worse off than you'd be if you hadn't looked.

However, all this is superceded by the following:

Make contingency plans for what will happen if you don't get a job right now.

In particular, figure out how you will survive for the 2020-2021 academic year if you are not hired at this time. This may require exiting academia, and such an exit may be permanent, or it may not be. But do not neglect this possibility.

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