Should grad students be warned?
The following is a cross-post from a comment I posted here:
Smarting from a crass comment from another board, I have been thinking a lot of graduate school the last couple of days. I was not informed of the job market until my first year of the PhD program (my third year of graduate school). Sure, I heard the murmurs, but it wasn’t until then that a professor (on a one-year stint himself) talked openly about the market.
I am a first generation student. Both parents have an associates from the local cc, and they were the over-achievers. I muddled my way to a land-grant teaching U., where, the conversation went, two older, white men told me I was foolish to even try to complete the degree. Why? Because their experience, which came off as really bitter at the time, told them that white men were too-un-PC to get an English job anymore. This would have been around 1996.
I ignored them, of course, writing them off as bitter and socially retarded (which I still think is the case). But I have been hard-pressed to prove them wrong. Was their advice accurate? Somewhat. Was is good to hear? Not at the time, but I did jump on an opportunity to become a traveling consultant teaching ERP software (SAP, specifically). This has led to exposure to a life otherwise closed (nice hotels, decent billing rate, immersion into business life, intricate technical education, adult learning thoery and practice, distance education, etc.).
Am I better for the liberal education? Hamlet doesn’t come up often, but I am able to capture nuance of process and interogate systems better than my family (my undecated baseline), so…