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regrets on not taking the road less traveled

 
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 6:12 pm    Post subject: regrets on not taking the road less traveled Reply with quote

Maybe I should have stayed in retail . . .
By Kelly J. Baker
Columnist at Chronicle Vitae
https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1004-maybe-i-should-have-stayed-in-retail
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 1003
Location: US

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 8:54 pm    Post subject: Re: regrets on not taking the road less traveled Reply with quote

Kelly J. Baker wrote:
Did I really expect that a Ph.D. would be my ticket into secure employment? Was it my own hubris, or naïveté, that led to such expectations?

Yes, it is naive to expect that a PhD would be a ticket into secure employment. Before someone starts graduate school, they really need to have a plan for what they are going to do afterward, and a clear picture of what they need to do during graduate school to work toward that goal. When people graduate from grad school, they have the same degree as everyone else they graduated with, and are competing for the same jobs. Anyone pursuing a graduate degree needs to figure out what they need to do during graduate school to make them stand out when applying for their target jobs.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11451
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto that, rtm. A doctorate in religion is apparently limiting. In fact, I envision the author joining the Café and asking about using her PhD to teach EFL abroad! Wink
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Australia, retail pays well.
Teachers do well, and the minimum wage is the highest in the world.

America is a tough place to teach.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: regrets on not taking the road less traveled Reply with quote

rtm wrote:
Yes, it is naive to expect that a PhD would be a ticket into secure employment. Before someone starts graduate school, they really need to have a plan for what they are going to do afterward, and a clear picture of what they need to do during graduate school to work toward that goal.


Yes, unfortunately most prospective graduate students just dive straight in without really investigating the reality of the job market.

Warnings like this, however, are much easier to come by than they were even a decade ago, so there's really no excuse not to do due diligence.

http://chronicle.com/article/Graduate-School-in-the/44846

Chronicle columnist Karen Kelsky does a great job outlining the type of plan one should have BEFORE starting graduate school in order to have a reasonable shot at success on the job market.

http://chronicle.com/article/Graduate-School-Is-a-Means-to/131316/

In addition to Kelsky's suggestions, I would argue, given that the number of PhD graduates in any given discipline far exceeds the number of new faculty openings each year, that it is absolutely essential to have a Plan B. In other words, have some clear ideas about what you plan do with your life and career if becoming a tenure-track professor doesn't pan out. Because chances are very good, even if you do absolutely everything necessary to separate yourself from the competition, you still may come up empty handed.

Baker's regrets about not pursuing the assistant manager position at the Gap are, given her current situation, understandable. But had she begun seriously considering Plan B way back then or, preferably, even sooner, perhaps she would be more satisfied with the outcome of her career trajectory now.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 2006
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Karen Kelsky, here's her latest comments on the job market for PhDs.

Quote:
The faculty job market is permanently shattered, and your chances of getting a tenure-track job are slim. Try for a certain period of time -- I generally suggest about three years, as long as you can do that without accruing further debt or emotional damage -- and then move on. And during those three years or so of trying, be sure to polish up a variety of nonacademic skills and experiences so that you can hit the ground running in the postacademic job search when the time comes.


See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1008-the-professor-is-in-negotiating-temporary-insurance#sthash.gGvTBgYB.dpuf
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