Tuesday, 10 March 2009

hard times ahead?


This article is depressing, given that I'm a year away from completing my PhD.

I suppose I'm luckier than a lot of other doctoral students in that I have my fingers in a few other pies outside of academia. I also figured out rather quickly that getting bogged down in teaching undergrad classes (i.e. serving as cheap departmental labour) and organising seminars doesn't get you hired and competes with your primary goal: research and publication.

Getting something published during your doctoral years (at least in the Humanities) is what will set you apart from other applicants - not how many teaching hours you did or conferences you organised. Getting out there, meeting other academics, and making good connections is a good idea as well. For if you know other academics and they know you, they might be better placed to help you out when it comes time to job hunt.

Maybe it's because I'm optimistic by nature, but I refuse to believe that there won't be any jobs out there when I finish or that I'll have a problem finding one, if academia is indeed where I decide to stay. Why on Earth would anyone put themselves through a PhD otherwise?

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