Anyone reading my blog on the Problem in Pursuing To Be A Theorist would have read comments that disputed my claim that there are less job positions for theorists to practice what they want to do versus that of experimentalists. To make a check on how far off (or on) I was, I did a quick count on the job advertisements on the pages of Physics Today April and May 2012 issues. I look at each advertisement, categorize the job description into three categories:
1. Job looking only for experimentalists
2. Job looking only for theorists
3. Job that either has no clear description, or a job that either a theorist or experimentalist can do. This is often a position higher up in administration, i.e. director of a projects or lab, not something that a new PhD or Postdoc would qualify for.
What I discovered was this distribution:
1. Number of jobs looking only for experimentalist = 19
2. Number of jobs looking only for theorist = 5
3. Number of jobs looking for either or both = 14
I discounted job advertisements in the May issue that were identical to the ones found in the April issue.
From looking at this quick count, we see that the ratio of experimentalist-only jobs to theorist-only jobs is almost 4:1. I will not be surprised that this is a common ratio if I were look at other issues. Maybe I'll check the job listing on the AIP webpage and see what this turns out to be.