I thought about asking this question over at academia.stackexchange, but reverted to posting here since is overly specific to TCS.
I’m currently a fourth year PhD student in TCS in a top 4 school. So far, I have 2 SODA and 1 STOC papers. I would like to apply for teaching-based tenure faculty position, and was wondering if these positions are simply unicorns in the TCS subfield. In my research over the top 20 schools, I noticed they all had teaching-based tenure positions in fields like ML, HCI, etc, but never TCS.
Now you might be wondering why I want to avoid research-based tenure positions, and the simple answer is that I feel like a fraud. In my three papers, i was never the person who made the initial “breakthrough” in the problem. One of my coauthors always made the first critical observation and I merely contributed to pushing the problem down to completion with their observations. I can’t imagine the amount of stress I would feel if I’m given 6 years to “publish sufficiently” alone or not be awarded tenure. In addition, I don’t think my application would be competitive enough compared with people who have 5+ papers.
I also got awards for my teaching of an Algorithms course; I received the highest student score across the entire CS department (98%), and I was hoping to use that since I really enjoy teaching.