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  1. #1
    rmm0484 is offline Registered User
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    Adjuncts on Welfare?

    The Ph.D. Now Comes With Food Stamps

    A case for not pinning all of your plans for the future on adjunct teaching !

    From Graduate School to Welfare - Graduate Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education
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  2. #2
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmm0484 View Post
    A case for not pinning all of your plans for the future on adjunct teaching !
    This has less to do with adjunct teaching and more to do with picking a good degree. These people choose to get PhD's in History and Film Studies knowing there is very little demand for these skills. Life is about making choices and living with the consequences, good or bad. Don't complain or say the system is broke or that it's the fault of others when you make a horribly stupid choice.

    The question I have for the two main people in the article is how can they choose (yes its their choice) to put themselves in this situation especially when they have children to support?

  3. #3
    TEKMAN is offline Semper Fi!
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    This story gives me a red flag that University of Florida offers Ph.D in Classical Studies.
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  4. #4
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Well, that was a very interesting article (disturbing too).
    Last edited by Ted Heiks; 05-07-2012 at 09:18 AM.
    Theo the Educated Derelict
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    BobbyJim is offline Registered User
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    Seems like there may be a great need for economics instructors (emphasizing basic supply and demand) at both high school and college levels.
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  6. #6
    edowave is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEKMAN View Post
    This story gives me a red flag that University of Florida offers Ph.D in Classical Studies.
    They make it pretty clear that program is meant for high school or community college instructors already employed, not for those looking for tenure track positions.
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  7. #7
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    This has less to do with adjunct teaching and more to do with picking a good degree. These people choose to get PhD's in History and Film Studies knowing there is very little demand for these skills. Life is about making choices and living with the consequences, good or bad. Don't complain or say the system is broke or that it's the fault of others when you make a horribly stupid choice.
    ^^^^This.

    Between Master's degrees, I taught online quite a bit, and one year I was able to make almost half of what I earned for my "real" job. Now that I'm back in school myself, those days are over, but if I wasn't already employed full-time, then I could have taken on an even heavier course load, and could have made a decent living at teaching as an adjunct (minus health insurance, a pension plan, and other benefits, of course).

    Then again, my teaching credential back then was my M.A. in Criminal Justice , along with my associated experience, and CJ is a very popular major, especially with online students. If I got my first M.A. in Ancient Babylonian Astrology, I don't think I could have made enough to even pay for my Internet service, never mind make a living at it.
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  9. #8
    rmm0484 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    This has less to do with adjunct teaching and more to do with picking a good degree. These people choose to get PhD's in History and Film Studies knowing there is very little demand for these skills. Life is about making choices and living with the consequences, good or bad. Don't complain or say the system is broke or that it's the fault of others when you make a horribly stupid choice.

    The question I have for the two main people in the article is how can they choose (yes its their choice) to put themselves in this situation especially when they have children to support?

    Back in the day when we were young and stupid, people were encouraged to follow their heart regarding college majors, without regard to employability. That attitude prevails in academia today, since the "softer" degrees are still being offered - and studied.

    Regarding your second comment, I wondered about this myself, reading about the single mother with two children who is an adjunct. My question is this - how can they have children, living on the edge?? She said that she made enough money adjuncting until she had children!
    Last edited by rmm0484; 05-07-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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  10. #9
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    These people choose to get PhD's in History and Film Studies knowing there is very little demand for these skills.
    What's wrong with a PhD in Mediaeval History ?
    Theo the Educated Derelict
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  11. #10
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmm0484 View Post
    Back in the day when we were young and stupid, people were encouraged to follow their heart regarding college majors, without regard to employability. That attitude prevails in academia today, since the "softer" degrees are still being offered - and studied.
    The problem with the "follow your heart" line of thinking is both obvious and subtle. The obvious problem is that they find themselves with degrees in subjects that are not in demand, and as a result can't find work in their field.

    A more subtle problem is that this "follow your heart" mindset can bleed over from choice in major to choice in jobs. People get degrees in Art History and won't settle for some soul draining office job, not when society told them that if they "follow their heart" they will find a nice job in a museum or an art gallery somewhere. I see this a with a few liberal arts majors from the Ivy League schools. Yeah, the girl majored in French Literature. But her degree says "BA, Harvard", or "BA, Yale", or "BA, Stanford". With just the university's reputation and agressive use of her university's career center she can find a job. It may not be in something fulfilling, but it will have decent pay.
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  12. #11
    DxD=D^2 is offline Registered User
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    I think that the adjunct pay is pretty nice for ratio of time spent to earn that money. For example, here in California, an adjunct can earn roughly $50 an hour. If you teach one class once a week, for three hours during the class, at 16 weeks for a semester you could earn $2,400 ($50x3x16=$2,400). I understand there would be more time involved grading papers and planning, but for the ratio of time to earn $150 a day is not bad. I earn that working an 8 hour day and I feel like I have no life outside of work (because it consumes my whole day).

    I understand that one class may not be enough to survive, but for that reason, trying to earn as many "gigs" would help. I also believe, adjunct positions should be supplemental income and hopefully enable one to lead themselves into a tenure position. I know I don't have much experience in this area (seeing that I don't yet have my Masters), but I would imaging that there could be opportunities to gain positions inside the field of education if you play your cards right (by selecting a major that is in higher demand, networking , working internships, etc.).
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  13. #12
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Heiks View Post
    What's wrong with a PhD in Mediaeval History?
    Nothing, provided you don't mind doing this while you're waiting for the one in a million faculty position in Medieval History to open up;

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  14. #13
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Nothing, provided you don't mind doing this while you're waiting for the one in a million faculty position in Medieval History to open up;

    lol.......
    Theo the Educated Derelict
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  15. #14
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Nothing, provided you don't mind doing this while you're waiting for the one in a million faculty position in Medieval History to open up;

    Hey see that person there ..... I think .... yes .... I think that person behind that register there ... yes ... there .... has a PhD in Film Studies .... yes ... she has $135,000 in student loans..... oh wait.... some politician just forgave her loans to buy her votes .... she is laughing now .... why? ..... she is laughing at us morons who actually paid for our education

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  17. #15
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by jam937 View Post
    Hey see that person there ..... I think .... yes .... I think that person behind that register there ... yes ... there .... has a PhD in Film Studies .... yes ... she has $135,000 in student loans..... oh wait.... some politician just forgave her loans to buy her votes .... she is laughing now .... why? ..... she is laughing at us morons who actually paid for our education
    Good point.
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  18. #16
    Ted Heiks is offline Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmm0484 View Post
    My question is this - how can they have children, living on the edge??
    Hmm ... probably in the usual way.
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