26 April 2010

How depressing is my career choice?

REALLY FUCKING DEPRESSING, GUYS. Via Sociological Images (which, by the way, you need to be following, because it's badass), there's a fun little graph outlining how unlikely it is that I will ever get a job and/or graduate in some reasonable time frame.

9 YEARS on average. On. Average. It's a little weird to me that the "hard" sciences get their grad students in and out so fast. Maybe it's because they make less money, and thus have less money to spend on grad students taking the long route. Although it could also be that the job market for Ph.D.s in the sciences isn't so discouraging; when you're fairly certain you won't get a job after graduating, why wouldn't you take a few extra years to do so? Grad school is miserable, sometimes, sure, but it's also kind of comfy. You can count on fellowships/assistantships (to an extent), health insurance, some amount of security, as long as you're willing to live below the poverty line (I'm certainly used to that).

Over a third of Ph.D. holders in the humanities don't have jobs. And most of them don't get jobs outside of academia, probably because outside of academia, a Ph.D. is a liability. It makes you overqualified for, like, everything.

Oh, we English folks are totally screwed. It's actually really interesting talking to people in our department about this; we all know that the job market is horrifying, and won't be getting any better. But none of us are planning on dropping out or anything. It's a little deliberate self-deception, but it's mostly just that our love for school, or literature, is blinding. Which sounds corny, because it is.


Lane said...

I originally came to college as an English major. I'm so, so, SO happy I changed. No offense.

Sarah said...

Meh, still sounds better than mine, which is stay-at-home-mom...