Wednesday, September 9, 2009


With the job market gearing up again, I've been thinking about the recent graduates in my field and what they've chosen to do. In no particular order, my compadres include:
  • a researcher at a think tank in DC
  • an administrator in a higher ed advocacy group
  • institutional researchers (two)
  • a professor, not of higher ed, at a community college
  • professors, of higher ed, at flagship state schools (two)
  • an administrator for a denomination's higher ed board
  • a state higher ed coordinating board researcher

The thing is, as far as I know only one of the folks who is not a higher education professor even considered applying for faculty jobs. It's not that they wouldn't have been competitive, either. A few more interesting data points: All of the faculty members are single and childless. A couple of the women only considered jobs in their spouse's city of employment. Several women were adamant about wanting "a normal family life" or "a job that gets left at the office."

The thing is, in education there are a lot of other possible careers other than "professor." It's not like a PhD in philosophy. Still, I've been surprised by how many bright, promising graduate students are not considering or seriously pursuing the faculty role.

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