The job outlook for faculty in communication sciences and disorders (CSD) is quite positive, with a constant need for both new and experienced faculty in the field. New graduates with research doctoral degrees have ample opportunities for employment in college and university programs, unlike new graduates in other fields who may have difficulty obtaining full-time, tenure-track positions.
The number of open full-time faculty positions in CSD exceeded the amount of research doctoral degrees granted in recent years, according to the CSD Education Survey. CSD programs also have reported that nearly 8% of faculty positions remain unfilled.
The demand for new faculty members is driven by the growing need for certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists to serve children and adults with hearing, balance, speech, language, and swallowing disorders. Job growth for both audiologists and speech-language pathologists is expected to increase at a much faster rate than average for all occupations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Key opportunities for faculty in CSD include:
- Making discoveries about speech, language, hearing, balance, and swallowing disorders, such as developing cochlear implant technology and refining speech-generation devices
- Developing innovative ways to assess adults and children with hearing, speech, and language disorders, such as universal newborn hearing screenings and early identification of language delays in infants and toddlers
- Evaluating the effectiveness of new techniques and practices, such as improving language therapy strategies to help veterans regain communication skills after combat trauma
- Educating students about communication development and disorders through courses in phonetics, language development, acoustics, hearing science, speech science, electrophysiology, stuttering, aphasia, articulation disorders, and swallowing disorders
- Integrating current theory and research into coursework and practice to train students to use evidence-based practice in clinical work
- Supervising students in clinical practicum to develop skills ranging from helping a child correctly articulate sounds to providing audiological testing for adults
- Educating the public about communication development and disorders, such as
- The abilities and challenges of individuals on the autism spectrum
- Communication adaptations for individuals with aphasia due to strokes or traumatic brain injury
- The benefits and limits of communication using a hearing aid, accessing other hearing assistive technology, and applying compensatory communication strategies
- Serving as an expert on editorial boards and grant review panels
- Advocating for individuals with disabilities by advising legislative bodies and the media in their area of expertise