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Applying to the Academic Music Job, Part II: Where Can I Find Academic Music Job Listings?

The second in a seven-part series on applying to academic music positions

Where are academic music jobs listed?

Not in the newspaper.

It used to be that when you thought of finding a job, the classic image of scanning the newspaper’s classifieds came to mind. But technology has changed all that.

Colleges and universities tend to announce their faculty vacancies on one or more online job sites that specialize in higher education or in a particular field. Following is a list of sites that academic job seekers in music may find useful. Most are updated weekly, some daily. There is some overlap among sites, but many jobs are unique to each service. Therefore, it’s worth it to scour each carefully. You’ll need to visit each site to sign up for their job alerts.

  • College Music Society’s Music Vacancy List ( The Music Vacancy List (MVL) is a paid service that is likely the most traditional job site for academic music job seekers and bills itself as the most complete list of music vacancies. It does, however, come with the price tag of a membership to the College Music Society (CMS), the professional society for music in higher education. But it may be worth it for the right job, as CMS’s national and regional conferences are discounted to members and can be a good source of professional development and networking.

  • Chronicle of Higher Education’s Vitae ( The Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) is a widely-read, paid, daily newspaper covering issues in higher education. It also offers a suite of free online job seeking services called Vitae. This includes a job listing site. I receive a weekly job alert for only music jobs. I’ve noticed that MVL and Vitae have similar listings.

  • Insider Higher Ed ( Inside Higher Ed is a free news journal dedicated to issues in higher education. It’s similar to CHE. It also offers a job listing service, including a job alert subscription based on specific criteria (keywords, job type, geographic location, etc.)

  • Academic Music Jobs Wiki This page is part of a larger wiki (a democratically-edited website) dedicated to jobs in higher education. It lists music jobs, mostly musicology, theory, and composition, but I’ve noticed an increase in performance jobs. Essentially, it includes as many job announcements as editors add to it. It also includes a section with updates about the jobs themselves. For example, editors will post when a search committee has requested additional materials or invitations for a Skype interview for a certain job and, if known, the number of candidates advancing to each round. All editors are anonymous, so you don’t know who is making the updates, though there is a section that asks users to identify themselves by category— job seeker, current TT professor, search committee member, etc. If this section is to be believed, then you can get a general idea of who is editing the site. There is no email job alert subscription. You have to visit the site to find the jobs.

  • Academic Keys ( This is a job listing service by discipline. I receive the weekly Fine Arts version, which includes music jobs. There are usually at least a few music jobs in each edition interspersed with art, theatre, and other arts disciplines.

  • Simply Hired ( I occasionally find a full-time job listed on Simply Hired, but unlike the other job listing services, I also find a lot of adjunct (part-time) positions, probably more than full-time positions. I suppose this is beneficial for those seeking part-time work.

  • Higher Ed Jobs ( This job listing service sends me an email with all higher ed jobs posted in the last week by region of the country, which is useful. But I am also sifting through jobs in every discipline, including music. It takes a little longer to get through this list, so I use the Find feature on my computer to zero in on the music jobs.

  • Community College Jobs ( A website dedicated exclusively to jobs at community colleges. The two-year community college mission can be substantially different from that of a four-year institution, and the responsibilities of a community college music professor reflect these differences. Thus, for the community college job seeker, this website offers a range of services and information.

  • Indeed ( Indeed gathers jobs from across the web into one site. More often than not, I find a music job in Indeed’s job alert that does not appear on other job listing sites.

  • Media Match ( This site offers two versions of its job listing, paid and free. The paid version provides a listing of academic music positions and non-academic positions (like orchestral positions or film composers), which includes a job description and full contact information. The free version provides only the job description but no specific contact information, only a city/state. What I do to work around this is to Google the title of the job and its geographic location, and I can usually find the job advertised on the HR page of the institution’s website. (I suppose this is “cheating,” but it’s not illegal.)

Occasionally, jobs that match your qualifications slip by the job alerts. So, it's a good idea to visit the job listing sites every couple of weeks to search for missed jobs.

Are there more academic music job listing sites out there? Please leave them in the comments section.

In the next installment of this series, we examine the unique lexicon of higher education and how understanding it can make you a more attractive candidate.

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