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post #91 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by AldenPyle View Post
The scam that these humanities graduate progams run is diabolical. Imagine encouraging some chump to borrow 70k to get an MA in English. The gap between the moral self-regard of these people and the way they live their lives is unfathomable.
Yes. How dare these diabolical cowards keep scamming people into academia? Crazy thought, guys: some folks actually want to go into research, or teaching, or publishing within the humanities. That's why these degrees and programs exist. That's what they're supposed to be for. Are there a lot of frustrated chumps out there with MAs, slinging caramel macchiatos at their local SBux? Sure. But those people deluded themselves. They had no idea what they wanted from life. That's their own fault, and not the fault of the institutions that granted their degrees. Humanities MAs are specific degrees for people who want to follow very specific paths (mostly within academia). Degree collectors, slackers, and burnouts who happen to pursue MAs have only themselves to blame when they decide it's not for them. Those people should have known what they were getting themselves into. And if they actually thought that an MA in English was going to help them in the non-academic professional world, well, that's their own damned fault. They should have done their research, no pun intended.
post #92 of 260
I think I've shared here before when I returned to school I wanted to get a Ph.D. in philosophy. I went in to talk with the department head and he told me that if my goal was to teach I was foolish. Went on to talk about the glut of Ph.Ds., 95% of tenure tracks positions in philosophy going to women and minorities, and that I was dooming myself to a life of semi-poverty and no respect if I wanted to pursue this course. I thanked him for being so frank and the rest is history.
post #93 of 260
I'm interested to know two things Teger 1. what are these doors that swing wide open for UVA MAs in English, that will see you promptly eradicate 70k of debt? 2. how much undergrad debt has been accumulated en route to your BA?
post #94 of 260
Oh yeah, forgot to mention my little talk with the chair of the philosophy department was in the early 1990s. Basically, nearly 20 years later and sounds like things haven't changed.
post #95 of 260
This thread sort of turned out how I thought it would, but there are many good points being made. 70-100K for a terminal MA degree is not a good decision unless:

a) You're independently wealthy.

There's no "b", actually. That's about it. You may love the field or even want to a job that in some way necessitates an MA in english or history but the fact of the matter is that whatever that job is, it probably won't pay enough to knock out your debt quickly and worry free.
post #96 of 260
If the goal is just to have a Ph.D., couldn't you get a degree or two first, that would let you actually earn money and then fulfill the Ph.D. dream part time? Although, I will warn you, I went to check out upgrading my MPH to a Ph.D. and I just could not deal with the idiocy and ego of academics at this point in my life. Little people, making 1/3rd what I do, and wanting to tell me how my proactive and logical planning to get this done was all wrong. I decided they didn't deserve another 50k of my money so I could put "Dr." in front of my name.
post #97 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
Yes. How dare these diabolical cowards keep scamming people into academia?

Crazy thought, guys: some folks actually want to go into research, or teaching, or publishing within the humanities. That's why these degrees and programs exist. That's what they're supposed to be for.

Are there a lot of frustrated chumps out there with MAs, slinging caramel macchiatos at their local SBux? Sure. But those people deluded themselves. They had no idea what they wanted from life. That's their own fault, and not the fault of the institutions that granted their degrees.

Humanities MAs are specific degrees for people who want to follow very specific paths (mostly within academia). Degree collectors, slackers, and burnouts who happen to pursue MAs have only themselves to blame when they decide it's not for them. Those people should have known what they were getting themselves into. And if they actually thought that an MA in English was going to help them in the non-academic professional world, well, that's their own damned fault. They should have done their research, no pun intended.

What can I say? When you are right, you are right. There's a sucker born every minute, and some sheep are just meant to be sheared.
post #98 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
Yes. How dare these diabolical cowards keep scamming people into academia? Crazy thought, guys: some folks actually want to go into research, or teaching, or publishing within the humanities. That's why these degrees and programs exist. That's what they're supposed to be for. Are there a lot of frustrated chumps out there with MAs, slinging caramel macchiatos at their local SBux? Sure. But those people deluded themselves. They had no idea what they wanted from life. That's their own fault, and not the fault of the institutions that granted their degrees. Humanities MAs are specific degrees for people who want to follow very specific paths (mostly within academia). Degree collectors, slackers, and burnouts who happen to pursue MAs have only themselves to blame when they decide it's not for them. Those people should have known what they were getting themselves into. And if they actually thought that an MA in English was going to help them in the non-academic professional world, well, that's their own damned fault. They should have done their research, no pun intended.
Even if you know exactly what you're getting into, the university system is churning out far more PhD's than the market can support. It's not even close either, there are probably at least ten graduates for every job. The schools know full well that there's not going to be any positions for most of their graduates, but they need people to TA and so they bring people in, string them along for six or seven years, then shove them into a cruel and unforgiving job market. It's not exactly responsible. The candidates themselves are ultimately at fault for not realizing this, or choosing to think they'll be the exception. I don't have a lot of pity for them, but I don't want to excuse the universities for their actions. The system in the sciences is slightly less unethical, at least there are jobs post-graduation. It's still pretty bad, for various reasons.
post #99 of 260
http://www.usnews.com/education/worl...ities-top-400- UVA isn't even in the top 100. Why would it even be a remote consideration to take on so much debt for such a useless degree from such a low ranking school?
post #100 of 260
This isn't my area of expertise but a little more anecdotal evidence to add to the fire. My cousin was a rockstar student in PoliSci at a top school (U of Chicago), incredibly savvy and personable with a number of well-regarded publications - everything you'd expect in a great teacher who also knows how to play the internal politics game. In other words, a sure bet to be a top academic.

Today, at 40, he is doing the adjunct thing at a couple different local small schools (just above the community college level), has a new baby and is making about 20 grand. Luckily, his wife does well but his story reflects what you're hearing from Manton and others.
post #101 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtmt View Post
http://www.usnews.com/education/worl...ities-top-400-

UVA isn't even in the top 100. Why would it even be a remote consideration to take on so much debt for such a useless degree from such a low ranking school?

That's not even a remotely relevant ranking. You'd need to look at the specific graduate program rankings, and even then the rankings are close to meaningless.
post #102 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslo View Post
Your best move would be to marry a woman with a good job who would be willing to support you indefinitely.

Oh man. Do this, teger. This sounds amazing. My gf and i are doing well but to marry a rich chick (my age) and let me go back to school and do basically what you're doing in history would be awesome

Can that be option C?



But if you're doing a PhD no matter what go for the VT path and just work hard while you're there in your program and try to participate in other national history journals and shit like that. Going to UVA doesn't even guarantee you an in to the PhD program it seems. It's a better school but it's not the magic key that a harvard, stanford or something like that would be.

It does blow about the location not being that fun but you're gonna be busier than you have been in the past so it won't be that big a deal. The idea of almost 100k debt and just being poor and happy is definitely easier to swallow not vs 8 years from now when you're also paying for phd program or other moving expenses to the new school/area.


Also, if you're gonna get into professorship after you get your phd, you won't be able to be super picky with the school you do research and teach at either with the phd teaching market. You might have to take a spot at a school in a lame college town if you want work. Holding out for only cool cities to teach in is gonna be tough (though this is like 8 years down the line so no worries now lol)
post #103 of 260
If you need further proof of what the labor market for social science PhDs looks like, give this a look:

http://www.poliscijobrumors.com/

And keep in mind that poli sci PhDs are actually more employable than most humanities PhDs are.

Yikes.
post #104 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronoaug View Post
You might have to take a spot at a school in a lame college town if you want work.
in which case, Blacksburg Virginia will prove excellent practice.
post #105 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by deaddog View Post
This isn't my area of expertise but a little more anecdotal evidence to add to the fire. My cousin was a rockstar student in PoliSci at a top school (U of Chicago), incredibly savvy and personable with a number of well-regarded publications - everything you'd expect in a great teacher who also knows how to play the internal politics game. In other words, a sure bet to be a top academic.

Today, at 40, he is doing the adjunct thing at a couple different local small schools (just above the community college level), has a new baby and is making about 20 grand. Luckily, his wife does well but his story reflects what you're hearing from Manton and others.

There's an amazing contrast between the realities for humanities positions and the sciences. Teaching is basically the lowest tier of employment for science PhDs, and they have to scrounge to find decent people. I'm doing it for family reasons. I had a slightly above average PhD career at a mid-20 ranked university, with no lecture experience, and got a full time teaching job within 15 miles of my apartment. I didn't even have to move. I only teach two classes and four labs, and get paid substantially more than the non-tenure track humanities types. Teachers in the humanities at my level of experience seem happy to be teaching a few adjunct sections for pocket change.

Just a stark difference. Pretty amazing what having industrial and government jobs available will do. I believe there are substantially more science PhDs as well, just a lot fewer of them want to teach.
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