Often is heard a discouraging word
14 November 2011
Larry Cebula has posted an “Open Letter to My Students: No, You Cannot be a Professor,” explaining that “The reason you are not going to be a professor is because that job is going away, and yet doctoral programs continue to produce as many new Ph.D.s as ever. It is a simple calculation of odds–you are not going to win the lottery, you are not going to be struck by a meteorite, you are not going to be a professor. All of these things will happen to someone, somewhere, but none of them will happen to you.”
(h/t Dan Cohen)
For more along these lines, see
- William Pannapacker, “Overeducated, Underemployed: How to Fix Humanities Grad School, Slate, 27 July 2011. Also, responses.
- William Deresiewicz, “Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education,” The Nation, 4 May 2011. With letters.
- “The Disposable Academic: Why doing a PhD is Often a Waste of Time,” The Economist, 16 December 2010. With comments.
Just as Jewish tradition advises that people wishing to convert to Judaism be discouraged three times, so aspiring history PhDs should probably have to read three of these, but not more.