Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

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Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby TenuredProf » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:23 pm

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/01/2009013001c.htm :shock:
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby vinny123 » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:41 pm

[quote="TenuredProf"]Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/01/2009013001c.htm :shock:[/quote]


This problem has existed for a long period of time and is not only prevalent in the humanities but in the social service and legal professions which are over-saturated with graduates and job applicants for existing jobs. The primary reason for this glut is that many universities and academics wish to bolster their coffers to sustain their existence by encouraging prospective students to enter these graduate programs without the slightest interest or concern that concommitant job opportunities do not exist. In fact, many tenured professors hold very secure and financially remunerative positions working in a very insulated world without any notion as to the bleak employment opportunites available to their respective graduates.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby Abner » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:54 pm

vinny123 wrote:
TenuredProf wrote:Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/01/2009013001c.htm :shock:



This problem has existed for a long period of time and is not only prevalent in the humanities but in the social service and legal professions which are over-saturated with graduates and job applicants for existing jobs. The primary reason for this glut is that many universities and academics wish to bolster their coffers to sustain their existence by encouraging prospective students to enter these graduate programs without the slightest interest or concern that concommitant job opportunities do not exist. In fact, many tenured professors hold very secure and financially remunerative positions working in a very insulated world without any notion as to the bleak employment opportunites available to their respective graduates.


Well said and very true.

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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby Isadore Weisberg » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:16 pm

It does appear true, Abner. Indeed the evidence suggests that is the case with respect to the decline in the relative number of tenure track positions versus adjunct psoitions and competition from online schools. However, the graduate student who seeks a humanities doctorate doesn't have to follow the traditional educational pattern either. If, instead of going to graduate school full-time immediate after receiving a bachelors, the future grad student took a position in either the private or public sector. This initial employment would allow for much of the undergrad student debt to be paid while also building a resume. If the public or private sector employer has a program for helping employees repay student debt, so much the better. The student could then resume their studies at the masters level, part-time and possibly even partially paid by the employer, all the while remaining employed full-time.

At that point, with a masters, a resume and little or no residual student debt, the grad student could make the choice to return to school full-time for the humanities doctorate and an opportunity at a tenure track humanities position at the end of the rainbow. I would imagine many would not make that choice but would rather obtain non-traditional doctorates, educational doctorates (if they were teaching), MBAs or no further higher education. The article's author locked prospective humanities grad students into the prevailing pattern and didn't consider the possibility that future students will respond to the changing employment outlook by changing the traditional approach to obtaining the humanities doctorate.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby mattchand » Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:09 am

I find it rather ironic that the writer of the article, Dr. Pannapacker, teaches English at Hope College. I certainly hope he's wrong, but at the moment I suspect that he's making some important points here.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby kavade » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:42 pm

Okay, so here's my question: if all I want is a part time position when I return to the States (I teach English full time now in Asia), does this anti-humanities rant apply? I looked at the California Community College job listings and there are lots of positions listed for ESL teachers - MA mandatory. I'm working on an MA in English (started as MALS - switched after checking the CCC requirements) now. I also have a BA in Religious Studies and I noted that CCC lists positions for that field as well - with an MA in RS or Humanities. A Humanities MA would take a lot of my English MA units, so I figure that's double duty for those classes.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby nosborne48 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:43 pm

What you are up against isn't so much a shortage of teaching jobs at the community college level as the competition from desperate Ph.D. grads with zero chance of finding tenure track positions in the University system. It's awfully easy to end up as a perennial adjunct and even those contracts see a good deal of competition.

Take a look at at the blog 100 reasons NOT to go to grad school.

http://100rsns.blogspot.com/

Also this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dy ... -2002Jul16
Una cosa mala nunca muere.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby kavade » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:04 pm

I'll check out the blog. My reason for wanting to make use of both my undergraduate degrees is exactly what you mention - the PhD glut. If I qualify to teach
ESL, English lit and Religious Studies with a Master's (or two) it seems to me that is a boon to strapped California colleges. You can hire a PhD for one subject or someone who meets the requirements for ESL, English and Religious Studies.And I'm not looking for a full time position. I'm thinking of part time work after I retire from my current job. Thanks for the reply. I'll check it out.
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby Tark » Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:32 pm

The good news is that there are still lots of openings for part-time instructors in the California Community College system, despite the glut of advanced degree-holders. In other words, demand still exists.

The bad news is the effects of the glut are manifested in adjunct compensation. The oversupply of qualified candidates has led to poor salaries and poor (or nonexistent) benefits.

In other words, the reason that demand still exists, in spite of the oversupply, is because the pay sucks. This results in high turnover. The system continues to function, even though experienced adjuncts are constantly burning out, because new prospective adjuncts keep turning up.

The schools are generally reluctant to disclose detailed information about adjunct pay (note that the linked post is from 2006, and so the numbers may be out of date; they could be lower now due to state budget cuts)
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Re: Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

Postby kavade » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:57 pm

Thank you for the replies, folks. It's all food for thought. Can anyone tell me if California still uses the MA + 18 hours of grad work in a field as a minimum for hiring? I cannot find any mention of this on the State page I was looking at - all the requirements seem to be straight full MAs. But as I surfed the Web I found online jobs advertised from other states with the 18 hours mentioned. Does California still do this?
Also, if there are folks out there who do online teaching, could you give me an idea of the pay? Here are my concerns: when I return to the States I won't need a full time position, but I will need a part time salary that results in about $1,200 a month net, and also, since my house in California is waayyy out in the boonies (I'm off grid, so that tells you how far out I am) I don't want to schlep into town (75 minute drive) every day at the crack of dawn. So, a flexible schedule would be grand.
I guess this has strayed from the original topic - my apologies.
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