The path to economic mobility increasingly runs through postsecondary education. Although the combination of rising tuition prices and the difficult labor market have raised questions about the value of education after high school, degree and
certificate holders are still better off than those with just a high school diploma.
As sites of work-force development, community colleges must be responsive to the demands of the rapidly changing job market. Now, many community-college systems are turning to job-market data that are more up to date and more precise than ever before.
Ten years ago, Lisa Lalonde, now a professor in the faculty of early childhood education at Algonquin College in Ottawa, was cautioned by a friend about her choice to pursue an education almost exclusively online.
"When I first started this journey, someone asked me about what my career objectives were in the long-term … and they warned me that some of the upper crust of academia don't look highly upon this [online education]," she recalls. "Whereas, I'm finding that is definitely not the case any more."
How many hours should professors work each week? Everyone has a different answer, especially professors.
Case in point: When Nicholas A. Christakis, a professor at Yale University, asserted on Twitter that graduate students should work more than 60 hours each week, a debate ensued. Professors pointed to studies that suggested not everyone can devote more than 40 hours each week to their jobs — for example, if they have kids — or that the institutions and departments they work for may have different standards of work, research, and competitiveness.
Employers value candidates who have developed career readiness competencies throughout their diverse academic experiences. Graduate students and postdocs in particular should aim to incorporate those transferable skill sets into their professional development so that they can be seen as more than just researchers and teachers. More than that, they need to be able to provide tangible illustrations of such skills and competencies in action to convince future employers that they are qualified for professional
Faculty members juggle teaching, grading assignments, and conducting research. They write grants, run labs, and serve on the committees that keep their academic departments and institutions going.
One aspect of their jobs that stands out in both its rewards and its challenges is working with students. Here are key findings from a Chronicle survey of nearly 1,000 faculty members: Most faculty members find teaching students to be satisfying work.
You’ve probably heard "ivory tower" jokes or other ways of lampooning academic researchers and scholars. Here’s
one: How many college professors does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Eight. One to secure funding for the
light bulb, one to observe and record the changing of the bulb, one to consider the theoretical implications of the
change, one to write the research paper, two to edit the journal to which the research paper is submitted, and two
more to serve as blind peer-reviewers for the manuscript. (The actual changing of the bulb will be done by a
This fall I will again be the job-placement officer for my department — a position I have held more often than not for almost 20 years, in three different English departments. The role of the job-placement officer is to guide graduate students through the painstaking, drawn-out, and nerve-racking process of applying for positions in their field: from deciphering ads and preparing materials to interviewing with committees and, in the happy event, negotiating offers with chairs and deans.
Interviews for campus-leadership positions have shifted entirely to video, in our Covid-19 era of travel bans and social distancing. Many of the clients I work with as a campus search consultant expect that shift to remain a trend, even after our shelter-in-place era passes. Video interviewing has its advantages — it saves money, for one — but it also creates a unique set of stresses for candidates.
In more than 100 administrative searches, I’ve seen an array of video snafus: cameras angled to focus on shiny foreheads, cameos by pets and naked toddlers, unmade beds clearly visible in the background. I’ve seen candidates — thinking they were on mute — shout at a spouse to be quiet and tell a child to "go pee." I’ve seen committee members — thinking they were on mute — talk about a candidate. I’ve watched candidates put on their eye makeup, sneeze into the screen, and bring in their kids to help manage the technology.
In August, a report by Rand Europe confirmed what many had long suspected: that academics face a greater mental
health risk than the population at large. About two in five scholars have common mental health disorders, such as
depression or stress-related problems. Among the reasons behind this, the report, which was commissioned by the
Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust, identified environmental risk factors such as heavy workloads and lack of job
security and management support. But is there anything that academics themselves could do to boost their wellbeing?
Here, scholars from disciplines ranging from philosophy to neuroscience share their insights into how the
search for happiness should be conducted – if it should be conducted at all
Earlier this semester, I received a complaint from an applicant who we had opted not to hire. In his email, which he also sent to a parade of others, he said that — given his obvious qualifications — he was both surprised and angered by the rejection. He was so angry, in fact, that he called for the hiring supervisor and several others to be terminated for incompetence.
Fair process is important to me so I looked into the situation to determine if there was anything to the conspiracy he described. I soon learned that the position was not going to be filled and the department was in the process of sending out notification letters to all the applicants. I sent our angry correspondent a brief message explaining all of that and expressing regret that we had inconvenienced him. The applicant — clearly needing to get in the last word — responded with a series of messages condemning my writing skills, integrity, and personal character.
I didn’t always want to be a professor, but when I learned what a professor did (or what I thought they did), I decided
it was exactly the profession from which to do the things I wanted to do. My early career dreams primarily revolved
around three things: I wanted to be an actress, an activist and a writer.
Reality got the best of me, and I decided none of those things were viable career paths. Or at least not financially
lucrative career paths, which was a necessity for someone who grew up working-class with a single mom. By the
end of college (which I attended by the grace of loans and persistence), I was enamored with the professors who
taught me theories to make sense of my positionality as a woman, a poor person, a queer femme, a white person,
etc. I also witnessed professors publishing books as well as doing activist work on their days away from the campus.
And they got to perform, in a way, in front of the students they taught. I felt like it was a legitimate dream career, and
I was nothing short of elated when I was accepted tuition-free into a master’s and then a Ph.D. program.
One of the biggest challenges to face universities in an era of globalisation is the increased reliance on part-time instructors. Recent PhD graduates are less and less likely to find full-time, permanent work and are forced into casual teaching positions with low salaries and no benefits.
It was as a secretary in a busy English department at a large state university over 30 years ago that I first learned that full-time and part-time faculty occupied different worlds. Although these worlds intersected in the classroom -- and at times in my very small office -- I wondered even then if better communication and mutual recognition were possible. I saw students served by both forms of faculty. I handled instructional materials created by everyone, and I sensed the degree of commitment -- or frustration -- that both groups brought to their jobs.
For a generation now, our PhD graduates have struggled with a shrinking academic job market in Canada, many of them in under-compensated teaching jobs with little support for research, or in non-academic positions. The decline in academic jobs has been addressed primarily as a graduate student issue: PhDs should be better informed about and trained for “alt-ac” careers, while departments should shrink their PhD programs to better match job availability. We frame the problem as one of supply rather than demand.
It’s no surprise that would-be academics find reading a faculty job ad to be a highly confusing experience. For one thing, there is no standard format for the description of faculty positions. Throw in the fact that institutions are creating more and more part-time
positions with never-before-heard titles, and the result is a lot of perplexed young Ph.D.s.
As a new season of academic hiring gets under way, I want to offer a basic primer on how to interpret a faculty job ad, aimed at early-career scholars going on the market this fall.
Scenario: A doctoral student comes by your office to ask if you will serve as a reader on her dissertation committee. While a senior professor is chairing her committee, she wants you to help with the "heaving lifting." You start shifting in your seat, wishing there was a pause button you could hit as you figure out the best thing to say. You want to support this student — but as an assistant professor, a few years from tenure, you need to protect your time and avoid stepping on her adviser’s toes. Do you say no and clarify the roles of dissertation chair versus reader? Do you say yes and support the student in the way she is asking? Or do you ask her to first clarify your role with her adviser?
Achieving tenure and promotion are significant milestones in the career of a university faculty member. However, research indicates that racialized and female faculty do not achieve tenure and promotion at the same rate as their non-racialized and male counterparts. Using new survey data on faculty in eight Canadian universities, this article examines differences in being tenured and promoted between racialized and non-racialized faculty and between female and non-female faculty. It also investigates the extent to which explanations of human capital theory and cultural or identity taxation account for these disparities. Logistic regression confirms that controlling for human capital and cultural or identity taxation washes away the differences between being tenured and promoted for female faculty. Differences for racialized faculty remain, offering evidence of racial discrimination in the academic system.
L’obtention de la permanence et la promotion sont des jalons importants de la carrière d’un professeur d’université. Cependant, des recherches scientifiques indiquent que les professeurs racialisés et les femmes n’obtiennent pas de permanence et de promotion au même rythme que leurs homologues non racialisés et de sexe masculin. En utilisant de nouvelles données provenant d’une enquête menée auprès de professeurs dans huit universités canadiennes, cet article scrute les différences entre les taux de permanence et de promotion des professeurs racialisés et non racialisés, ainsi qu’entre femmes et non femmes, afin d’analyser dans quelle mesure la théorie du capital humain ou celle de l’imposition culturelle ou identitaire explique
ces disparités. La régression logistique confirme qu’en contrôlant le capital humain ou l’imposition culturelle ou identitaire, les différences de permanence ou de promotion parmi les femmes disparaissent. Cependant, même avec ce contrôle, les différences demeurent pour les professeurs racialisés, ce qui fournit une preuve que la discrimination raciale existe dans le système universitaire.
National and international statistics show that across disciplines there are many more PhD graduates than academic positions. In fact, more than half of graduates find their careers outside the academy—though the kinds of positions they accept, their work satisfaction, and the relevance of their PhDs is much less clear. As regards scholarly studies on post-PhD careers, most
have examined social scientists and scientists with little attention to humanities doctoral graduates. This study addresses this gap by exploring the career experiences of Canadian PhD humanities graduates through descriptive statistics and narrative analysis. Specifically, it highlights the PhD experiences and post-graduation career trajectories of 212 Canadian humanists from 24 universities who graduated between 2004 and 2014. The study offers insight into humanities career challenges, including during the PhD, the range of non-academic careers that humanists find, as well as their work satisfaction and the perceived relevance of the PhD.
SIX YEARS AGO, Georgia State University (GSU) gathered a decade’s worth of its historical data with the help of a third-party vendor — some 15,000 student records and 2.5 million grades — and applied advanced analytics. Officials hoped to use this information to uncover early-warning signs for students in danger of dropping out of school.