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Science Careers Blog

May 20, 2011

Seeking Opportunities Abroad

With the academic job market in United States overcrowded, and this year's American hiring season nearing its end, the aptly named Katrina Gulliver suggests that aspirants to faculty positions can expand their pool of opportunities by seeking openings in other countries.  Gulliver, who has held posts in Europe, Asia, and Australia, has never been imprisoned by tiny people or kept as a pet by gargantuan farmers. But she has encountered cultural differences that matter in an international job search. Gulliver offers enlightening advice on how to do this in an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Successful international job seeking takes a lot of research, she notes, because many aspects of the hiring process differ in different countries.  Hiring schedules, academic career ladders, even the standard size of the paper your CV is printed on can vary according to where you look.  In the southern hemisphere, the academic year often starts in January and the hiring season will soon get underway.  In large parts of the British Commonwealth, a "reader" isn't someone who grades a professor's exams, but someone who holds the second-highest faculty rank.

Like her fictional namesake, Gulliver has found that an international career provides many enlightening experiences.  She notes that academic credentials, unlike the licenses required in fields such as law or medicine,  give you professional standing abroad. That makes "your skills...as portable as you want to make them."

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