9 thoughts on “Spreadin’ Love 450

  1. Maybe I am mistaken, but — unlike 5 or 10 years ago — I feel like the idea of “Don’t get a PhD, you’ll never get a job with it” is now in the zeitgeist. And yet I haven’t heard any news that applications or enrollments are declining in PhD programs.
    Are we getting to the point where you can’t blame the PhD programs for lying, anymore? If you enroll and expect a tenure-track job based on what the programs promise, it’s getting closer to saying you believe the tobacco lobby that smoking isn’t dangerous.

  2. Once everybody gets the news that you can’t get a job with a Ph.D., enrollment will drop and you’ll be able to get a job with a Ph.D. Therefore, enrollment won’t drop. One thing I learned in my attempt at getting a Ph.D. is that just because an equilibrium is shitty does not mean it isn’t stable.

  3. I think people are desperate for credientialing that they hope will track them to a “tenured” position. Jobs that used be fairly reliable for some, journalism, for example, are disappearing, changing. There are able people out there who are not good with risk, reinvention, entrepreneurship, and the abity to do ok or well without being a risk taking entrepreneur are shrinking.
    I think that Journalist wool be very foolish to return to get a Ph.D in English.
    If he really doesn’t know that, rather than engaging in wishfull thinking, I think there’s another reason why people continue to delude themselves.

  4. I mostly try to delude myself about my physical appearance and strength. I’ve so far been much more willing to accept that I won’t earn much more.

  5. The problem is bigger than just PhDs. I had conservations with two friends this past week who have to completely reinvent themselves in their mid-40s, because journalism and publishing are dead fields.

  6. There’s a fair number of steel workers and other industrial types around here who faced the same need for reinvention. It was probably hardest on those who were 35 to 55. It happens regardless of education level.

  7. ” It happens regardless of education level.”
    Actually, I think it’s kind of new to have it happen regardless of education level (though, without data, I’m pretty suspicious of myself). I think there used to be pretty steady paths for people who had the right education and a little bit of opportunity & connections (in academics, law, medicine, government, even middle/higher management at banks and companies, publishing, journalism). I think all of those jobs are becoming more and more entrepreneurial (with the mild exception of government & medicine). Entrepreneurial and risk means that there are more well-educated people being asked to reinvent themselves at 35-55 in a world where age is a handicap, unless you’re already successful.

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