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Slate education columnist says humanities grad degree will "wreck your life"

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Walter Lippmann, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Slate's Rebecca Schuman makes some good points about the elimination of tenure-track jobs at colleges and universities. However, she loses me when she puffs up her own CV by having a "long list of peer-reviewed publications" and an upcoming book, while on paper, she lists three peer-reviewed pubs.

    It also helps to discuss how willing you are to move for a tenure-track job, since she mentioned being married.

    She also claims having three peer-reviewed publications was good enough to get tenure a generation ago. Recent alumni from her program have tenure-track jobs.

  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Stop working my corners.
  3. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    She's either lying or incredibly misinformed if she suggests that humanities TT jobs were reasonably available in the 1990s. I was on the market for my first TT job (in business) in 1999 and mistakenly read a book on the humanities market that fall. Scared me absolutely shitless, even though it really didn't apply to me.
  4. Someone needs to corner the market on public radio links.

    Anytime I've heard someone complain about not getting a job, and they tell me about their interview, there seem to be a few red flags right off the bat.
  5. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    It isn't just the humanities.
    I know an Ivy League chemistry Ph.D who hasn't been able to find work for years.
  6. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    That surprises me. Most of my college roommates were molecular biology majors (who have graduate degrees in a related field) and have never worried about job security.

    If you majored in Humanities, in all likelihood, you're teaching or working in a field unrelated to their major.

    Basically, like most of us who majored in journalism. :D
  7. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Oh, hell, I know several PhDs who haven't been able to find academic work for quite some time. One of my former classmates works in the deli at the grocery store in his dinky little southern hometown.

    The key thing is, though, whether they ever found academic work to begin with. My former classmate got a tenure-track job, dicked around and didn't publish the first goddamn thing, then was gobsmacked when he found himself out on the street. It didn't help that he didn't start looking for a new gig until he had a month left in his old one -- and he'd known he was on the way out for at least two years.

    The humanities folks, though, have a tough time of it because they very often don't even get a shot.
  8. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    This is a person with a sterling academic record, admittedly not much in the way of people skills.
  9. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Did this person ever actually get a tenure-track job? Did he/she land that good post-doc (or two) that's an absolute must-have in the hard sciences? If he/she did actually get that gig, did he/she continue to produce (in grant money)?
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