Friday, April 14, 2006

Casualization, What?

According to Money Magazine,"college professor" is the 2nd best job in America, right after software engineer.

2. College professor
Why it's great While competition for tenure-track jobs will always be stiff, enrollment is rising in professional programs, community colleges and technical schools -- which means higher demand for faculty.

It's easier to break in at this level, and often you can teach with a master's and professional experience. Demand is especially strong in fields that compete with the private sector (health science and business, for example).

The category includes moonlighting adjuncts, graduate TAs and college administrators.

What's cool Professors have near-total flexibility in their schedules. Creative thinking is the coin of the realm. No dress code!

What's not The tick-tick-tick of the tenure clock; grading papers; salaries at the low end are indeed low.

Top-paying job University presidents' pay can hit $550,000 or more, but most make about half that.

Education Master's or professional degree; Ph.D. for most tenured jobs.
As the detailed view indicates, the problem with the professoriate is that there are readily available jobs and high-paying jobs, but the two don't really meet. Being a professor is more like being an actor than an engineer -- if you're good enough, there's work available, but only a small but visible handful of people are getting the press and accolades and really raking it in.

Still, though, as Dan McQuade notes at Philadelphia Will Do, "blogger" isn't anywhere on the list.


1 comment:

Laura said...

This sounds like a pretty uninformed assessment, sort of like the professor-as-imagined-by-popular-perception. Seems pretty unaware of the rather ridiculous labor problems plaguing employees in higher education, e.g. the trend toward using adjunct lecturers who only make part-time salaries and don't get benefits, and cutting tenure-track lines. (I just read a bit on this very topic for a class this week, maybe you've looked at Cary Nelson's work on the crisis in high education?) Anyway, I think you're right to compare it to acting -- a tiny fraction will get sweet jobs (although i'm not sure what university president has to do with professor as an occupation, really -- seems like comparing "actor" to "studio executive") but everyone else will be waiting tables. The way I look at it, I'm ok with having spent 5 years living off someone else's dime and learning stuff, and if there's no job for me at the end of it, I'll just craft for a living like I always wanted to anyway. :)