scott jaschik offers another nice inside higher ed piece today, based on a new american sociological association report on employment opportunities in academic sociology. an excerpt:

More than one third of the assistant professor positions did not specify a subfield. But the top subfield specified (nearly three times more than the runner up) was criminology/delinquency, and the sixth most popular subfield was a related one, law and society. The concern of those who prepared the report is that evidence suggests grad students are focused elsewhere.

i spoke with mr. jaschik on friday, so my opinions on this issue are well-represented in the article. i won’t say more, except to add a few words of reassurance for sociology grad students with specialties outside criminology. though crim is the top specialty area identified, there were 227 positions listed as “field open” in the ASA report, often in top departments. my sense is that these open positions often go to areas such as stratification, demography, and political sociology.

that caveat aside, the ASA report is also reassuring to me as an advisor — the market continues to be exceptionally strong for sociological criminologists. here are the top specialties specified in job postings for sociology assistant professors in 2006:

Field and Number of Positions
Field open 227
Criminology/delinquency 86
Quantitative methods/statistics 29
Theory 21
Urban/community 19
Race and ethnicity 19
Law and society 15
Medical 13
Race, class and gender 12
Demography 11
Family 11
Social psychology 11
Culture 10
Organizations/Economic 10
Stratification/Labor Markets 9
Policy Analysis/Public Policy 8
Education 7
Environment 7
Latino/Latina 7
Political/Social Movements 7
Aging/Social Gerontology 6
Applied Sociology/Evaluation Research 5
Social Welfare/Social Work 5
Other Fields 75
Total 610