Monday, January 4, 2010

Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go

A great article from the Chronicle of Higher Education about the dangers of pursuing an advanced degree in the humanities. It's a sad state of affairs, and I wish it were otherwise, but that's not the case.

Here's the killer quote for me:

Most undergraduates don't realize that there is a shrinking percentage of positions in the humanities that offer job security, benefits, and a livable salary (though it is generally much lower than salaries in other fields requiring as many years of training). They don't know that you probably will have to accept living almost anywhere, and that you must also go through a six-year probationary period at the end of which you may be fired for any number of reasons and find yourself exiled from the profession. They seem to think becoming a humanities professor is a reliable prospect — a more responsible and secure choice than, say, attempting to make it as a freelance writer, or an actor, or a professional athlete — and, as a result, they don't make any fallback plans until it is too late.

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