Friday, April 14, 2006

Job talk

In the academic blogosphere, I'm a little late in linking to this list of the best jobs in the United States (according to CNN). Profs come in at #2.

College professor
Why it's great While competition for tenure-track jobs will always be stiff, enrollment is rising in professional programs, community colleges and technical schools -- which means higher demand for faculty.

It's easier to break in at this level, and often you can teach with a master's and professional experience. Demand is especially strong in fields that compete with the private sector (health science and business, for example).

The category includes moonlighting adjuncts, graduate TAs and college administrators.

What's cool Professors have near-total flexibility in their schedules. Creative thinking is the coin of the realm. No dress code!

What's not The tick-tick-tick of the tenure clock; grading papers; salaries at the low end are indeed low.

Top-paying job University presidents' pay can hit $550,000 or more, but most make about half that.

Education Master's or professional degree; Ph.D. for most tenured jobs.

Rebecca Goetz has a few things to say about the article, particularly as pertains to the inclusion of graduate TAs and adjuncts ("the most exploited people in our industry") under the category of "college professor," at her blog, (a)musings of a grad student. (However, now that Rebecca is soon to be a professor on the tenure track, I wonder if a blog name change is to be expected?)

My take on the article? Maybe being a college professor is one of the best jobs; I don't know. I really hope it is, and I aim to find out, eventually. (I mean, I aim to find out what it's like to be a real college prof someday, not just a teaching assistant.) What I do know is that not all of the criteria listed in the article as to why CNN thinks the job is great are particularly accurate. Certainly not as applies to my little subsector of the humanities, anyway.

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