Re: Grad Students and Jobs, among other thin

Daniel A Ponech (dapst26+@PITT.EDU)
Thu, 9 Jun 1994 10:28:59 -0400

On Wed, 8 Jun 1994, Read, Dwight ANTHRO wrote:

> Do students apply to and begin graduate studies
> thinking that it is LIKELY they will be able to get an academic job at the
> other end? If so, then those of us involved in admissions should provide
> realistic information to applicants so that they don't begin 6-10 years of
> study for the wrong reason. Yet as the posts about jobs indicate, there are
> many students who, regardless of the job situation, are glad that they are
> continuing with advanced studies--and I am delighted to read this kind of
> enthusiasm. But there is also the suggestion made in several of the
> posts that a fair number of graduates begin their studies with little
> realistic information about the prospects of employment and might have chosen
> a different path if they had had more information. Is this an accurate
> assessment?

You got it! No one said squat to me, save for the then popular "bubble"
talk (the pending "bursting bubble of faculty" that would result in jobs
a plenty). No one would volunteer the average starting income or the more
advanced incomes of those faculty who did get jobs. There was no mention
of work outside the academy.

I'm thankful to be able to pursue grad studies and probably would have
anyway, but I would have done things quite differently of someone had been
frank in the beginning. I don't resent the fact that I had to find out
myself that the job market is dying and all that stuff (hell, finding out
things on my own is part of being here), but I am frustrated by the fact
that I had to wring info out of people. People held back or used less
than frank language when I went to ask them about working in the academy.
Only a couple of people have been straight with me (a public "Thank you"
to Peter Erb and the redoubtable Micki Korp) and I appreciate it, but I
wish I had been helped out sooner by people who were in the know.

D.A. Ponech May I be excused? My brain is full.