13 April 2006

The Country's #2 Job...

...is not occupied by Dick Cheney. Actually, I mean the second best job in the country, which according to cnn.com is "College Professor." Here's what CNN had to say:
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.

While I'm pleased to see my chosen profession ranked so well, I think the CNN folks focused their research on the science end of the profession. The situation for the humanities seems a less highly paid and a lot harder to get into then for "health sciences and business."

I would also note that "moonlighting adjuncts and graduate TAs" are the most exploited people in our industry; they work long hours with heavy teaching loads for little pay, often no health insurance, and sometimes no library access. Saying those folks have the "#2 job in America" is misleading.


At Friday, April 14, 2006 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was incredibly annoyed by the whole "job perks" aspect of it which claims that college professors have very flexible, leisurely hours. I don't know a single professor at my school who isn't constantly rushing between classes, meetings, the library and their office hours. And unlike the rest of those jobs, we have to take our work home with us every night and weekend.

Yes, it's a great job, but for people who are passionate about being able to pursue their intellectual interests and want to have a part in bringing up the next generations of educated Americans, not for people who just want to make up their own hours, wear jeans to work and take the summer off.

At Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:41:00 PM, Anonymous Mark G. said...

I always firmly advise against pursuing a career in academe unless one is so passionate about the calling they can't imagine doing anything else.

I've been extraordinarily fortunate in my career. Even so, I'm continually amazed by the ceaseless demands it makes on my time -- and by the amount of work (e.g., committee assignments, faculty meetings) that has nothing to do with the reasons that drew me to history. I've also been perplexed by the curiously joyless culture that pervades so much of our profession. As I've said elsewhere, it seems tied less to specific individuals than to seep like a cold fog into the academy itself.

At Saturday, April 22, 2006 7:15:00 PM, Blogger Clemens said...

The 'curiously joyless culture' of our profession is a good way to put it. I have several theories about it, but don't think this is the space for them. One that I will mention though is the need as succesful middle class professionals to cast ourselves as on a par with other workers. I've worked on a farm, in a factory, as a janitor, worked for Social Security and even as a cartographical draftsman for the state of Florida. Now for the last 16 years I have been a professor in a history department at a southern university that, shall we say, has its problems. Whatever problems I have with this job (and I have several BIG ones), compared to the others it is heaven. I simply can not take the complaints I hear from academics about their jobs seriously - especially when I watch how they treat working people, like our janitors.

But, I could be wrong.

At Sunday, June 11, 2006 5:28:00 AM, Blogger metromon said...

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