Alchemical Thoughts

Articles on degrees and getting a job

Posted on: February 25, 2009

There is a lot of doomsaying going on about getting an advanced degree and being able to get a job. This is especially applicable to humanities degrees, but it could be applicable to even the MLS degree given the abysmal job market (which ALA pretty much choose to ignore in favor of promoting people going to library school job or no job).

Here are two sample articles, which I may use to expand into some kind of essay/post later:

  • From AlterNet, "Is a GED More Valuable Than a PhD?" From the article, this is pretty much common knowledge, or it should be common knowledge by now: "The demand for humanities PhDs has long been tight — for four decades, the number of jobs requiring them hasn’t kept pace with the number of people earning them. But by all indications, recent university hiring freezes and evaporating grant money have reduced the world’s most elite degree to junk-bond status." 
  • Inside Higher Ed featured a piece on the "Relative Advantages of Associate Degrees and Certificates."

I will tell folks this much: when I hear someone planning to go to graduate school for a humanities degree, I pretty much cringe. Unless they are willing to work outside of academia, and likely work outside their subject, their odds of getting a good job in their subject are next to none. In other words, pursue if it is your passion, and you know and accept you need to get a job that will actually pay the bills. And even then, you may be better off not doing it. I know things need to change, but I am not sure how at this point. Something to ponder.

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