Attention Members of the Faculty: You are NOT Part of the Middle Class

In case you harbor any delusions of grandeur that you or your children will someday rise to fame and fortune in academia, let me gently harsh on your mellow.  The truth is, most of our higher education faculty members are now adjuncts, or under a more fancy title, contingent faculty.  As this article details, many adjuncts earn about $10,000 a year.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, this applies to other people but not to my little Johnny because he is going to be a scientist.”  Good luck with that.  Science jobs are also getting harder to come by in academia, or anywhere.

Finally, before the reality party is over, I invite you to take a trip to 100 Reasons Not to Go to Graduate School.  It is extremely well-written and well cited (the links all work and bring you to current and relevant articles).

And, on a note of full disclosure, yes, I did apply to graduate school this past year.  And yes, I am not going.

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2 responses

  1. I’m glad you decided not to go. As you recall, I was not in favor. I didn’t go into all the gory details, just tried to encourage you that you were quite good enough AS IS to pursue your career path and business ideas. Glad you are doing that too! Quite certain you can be successful without a Ph.D. degree, including all the hassle and expense!

  2. Phd programs cannot be entered into without an expectation of a lot of extra stress over a long period-my daughter had a teaching fellowship at a major university-she traded off a higher paying tenured position in local teaching for an uncertain future-she just received her Phd after five years and a nearly 400 page dissertation-she has a good job with an educational research institution associated with the university but this is not a tenured position.Since she’s in a high demand field,she does have the option of seeking a tenure track position at another college or university and there seem to be more such jobs available than you suggest.I guess it’s very dependent on one’s specialized area of training and experience.

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