Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A job listing

A job listing from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Further commentary and response here. It feels like the future, and not just for Illinois.

Thanks to Diane Schirf for passing on the news.

comments: 6

misterbagman said...

And that kind of thing, my friends, is why I chose to go to law school instead of pursuing advanced study in Russian literature. The writing was on the wall 23 years ago as I approached the end of my undergraduate studies. Something like 6 Ph.D's were awarded at Berkeley the year I got my BA, and only one had plausible academic job lined up. The rest were shivering on the edge of the roiling pit of adjunct work, or were abandoning academia entirely.

Frex said...

That is insane!!!
If I worked a 4o-hour week at the thrift store where I now earn $10/hour,
in one year I would earn only $8,000 less than this job.
No, wait, that's $7,200 less.

Michael Leddy said...

The saddest thing is that someone will be willing to take that job. It’s like The Grapes of Wrath — people willing to work for less and less, because the alternative (not starvation but a life outside academia) is beyond their imagining.

If I were an undergrad in 2017, I would not be thinking about graduate school in the humanities. Or if I were, I’d hope that some faculty member (like me) would be honest enough to talk about the true shape of things.

misterbagman said...

I frequently have very candid conversations with would-be lawyers about the economic realities of the profession and the crushing debt involved in obtaining a law degree compared to the real income potential for junior lawyers. There's a huge imbalance between the cost of legal education and the economic upside. The same is even more true for humanities scholars. There is virtually no economic opportunity in humanities scholarship. But the fallacy of the sunk cost coupled with ossified structures that channel these brilliant but misguided souls into a career track that doesn't need them is hard to change. We can hardly expect the successful humanities scholars (i.e., the dwindling ranks of tenured faculty) to counteract the trade-school-ification of universities. It's a horribly complex problem. I don't know the answer. Except, as Rebecca Schuman recommends, not to play. But for anyone who actually CAN perform the job in that UIC listing, it's too late - they've already spent years moving toward the ability to do the job that is being offered in exchange for chump change. Might as well go work at Starbucks and be truly off-the-clock when your workday ends.

Michael Leddy said...

Mister B, what responses do you get?

misterbagman said...

I have had some, albeit limited, success in talking would-be law students out of enrolling. Those who have already enrolled I leave alone. Although I should probably not spare their feelings.