How Ph.D.s Romanticize the ‘Regular’ Job Market

Originally Published by The Chronicle of Higher Education

By Erin Bartram JANUARY 08, 2019

One thing I heard a lot — once I decided to stop looking for a tenure-track job — was that my doctoral skills would be well received beyond the ivory tower. On the “regular” job market, many assured me, I would be more valued than in academe. Despite the reassurances, I was skeptical of this rosy portrait of my job prospects.

Nine months later, my skepticism has been fully validated.

After three unsuccessful cycles on the tenure-track market, of course it was appealing to think things would go better beyond the ivory tower. But they haven’t, although I have done my share of applying and interviewing. I think it’s important to consider the sources of our romantic view of the nonacademic job market and the effects it can have on those of us looking to make the transition out of the faculty career path.

Why did I doubt that I would readily find full-time, well-compensated employment outside of academe?


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