Several years on the academic job market taught me two lessons, both applicable to this blog post on the rise in job openings. First, you should never assume you know what led to the specific language you find in the job ad: it might be driven by high-level policy, it might be a compromise, it might intentionally overstate the range of competence required. It's a guide, and you should take it seriously as such, but it's not gospel. Second, the whole point of having a PhD is that it teaches you how to do an intensive amount of research very quickly, and disseminate that knowledge to a wide audience. When I look at a job ad, I am less concerned to ask if it requires skills I already know myself to have (though it's always nice when it does), and more concerned to ask if it's a skill I could pick up quickly. That non-academic job seekers appear to not have learned these lessons is rather surprising.

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