On the plus side, I’ve felt a bit of weblog inspiration these past couple of days, and I think that I’ll be making some changes to this site in the coming days. I just upgraded to the latest Movable Type, and I’m going to start a redesign soon. I’m not a very original web designer, but I’ve seen a few site designs that I liked lately, so I’m going to try to piece something together.
With the new version of MT, I’ve enabled Trackbacks. I’m not sure exactly how to work them into the site design, though. We’ll see how it works out.
Light blogging lately. I could give you a million excuses, but the honest explanation is that I’ve been rather preoccupied. I’m trying to find a job. The situation in my field is rather grim. The demand for jobs of the type I’m seeking is very high, and the supply is rather low. Let me explain.
I’m looking for an assistant professorship in electrical and computer engineering. My research area is wireless communications. As you might not know if you have been living in a plastic bubble for the last two years, when the economy went down the tubes, the telecommunications industry led the way. The industry is plagued by the fact that they spent billions of dollars building new infrastructure during the boom years, and now they’re finding it very hard to recover the money that they invested. This is making jobs – including research jobs for Ph.D.s such as myself – in industry extremely scarce. As a result, for the last two years a large percentage of Ph.D. candidates who intended to go to work in industry have been begging for academic positions. According to my sources at a number of institutions, the number of applications for tenure track faculty positions skyrocketed last year and remains as high or higher this year. Demand for these positions is extremely high.
On the supply sides, state and local budgets are facing crises of extreme magnitude. The reasons for these crises are numerous, and many of them can be laid squarely at the feet of the federal government. Unreimbursed expenditures on homeland security, changes in the federal tax code which reduce state tax revenues, and a weak economy have left state governments facing enormous deficits. As states seek to shore up their budgets, universities – especially state universities – have taken huge cuts in state funding. Just today I heard that due to budget cuts one large university in my field may not be hiring anyone this year despite having already advertised positions. So, supply is low.
I’m trying to stay optimistic, but it’s a pretty hairy out here.