Get a Life

I read this Goodbye Academia: Get a Life and Disposable Academic with interest.

Why?  For the Goodbye post, the author provides some realistic personal anecdotes and perspective that tells those who are interested in academia the pros and cons of pursuing an academic career, through a PhD study.  Not every one wants to pursue such an academic pathway, and though there were many who succeeded in achieving their goals, and having their dreams come true, it is not surprising that many others are enjoying or “struggling” their way through.

In the Disposable Academic post:

Indeed, the production of PhDs has far outstripped demand for university lecturers. In a recent book, Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, an academic and a journalist, report that America produced more than 100,000 doctoral degrees between 2005 and 2009. In the same period there were just 16,000 new professorships.

This seems to match an Asian “motto” of: “Lots of “monks”, small amount of porridge”.  Landing on an academic career seems to become a dream for many, but a fantasy or even an ideology for many academically bright scholars.  A reality check means that many scholars have to strive hard in order to compete in the field.

To me, that is a hard lesson to learn, as I reflected on my own graduate study.

“Measurements and incentives might be changed, too. Some university departments and academics regard numbers of PhD graduates as an indicator of success and compete to produce more. For the students, a measure of how quickly those students get a permanent job, and what they earn, would be more useful.” Disposable Academic

So, get a life.

4 thoughts on “Get a Life

  1. Haha. Yes, get a life. Pursuing this study is very immersive, very demanding, not something everyone wants to do. I am glad that my PhD pursuit is occurring at this stage of my life, and that I am not dependant on getting a professorship afterwards. I think if I were doing this for the purpose of future employment then I might not enjoy it quite so much. It is great for me to have the exposure to all the wonderful professors and books that I get to read. I don’t worry about turning my learning into money. I am very lucky in this, I know.

  2. Life is a happening thing. As long as we breathe, we are immersed in the business of life. There are many factors that influence the course of our lives–personal, vocational (pre 1960s) & professional (as of the 1960s), and civic goals, cultural practices and norms, institutional contexts, social and economic processes, but it is we who determine to what extent those factors will constrain our decisions and our actions. To thrive in life, we have to be able to constantly learn, to visualize the future, improvise and innovate, and to be open to new opportunities to contribute to the well-being of a dynamic society.

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