Adjuncts on Welfare?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by rmm0484, May 7, 2012.

  1. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

  2. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    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?

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Well, that was a very interesting article (disturbing too).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2012
  5. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    Seems like there may be a great need for economics instructors (emphasizing basic supply and demand) at both high school and college levels. :shock:
  6. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    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.
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member


    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.
  8. rmm0484

    rmm0484 Member

    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 a moderator: May 8, 2012
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    What's wrong with a PhD in Mediaeval History?
  10. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    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.
  11. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 Member

    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.).
  12. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    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;

  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

  14. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    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
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Good point.
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Hmm ... probably in the usual way.
  17. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Yeah, the notion that one should study/get a job for love, not money, overlooks one basic fact: the idea of getting a job is to make money.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Someone should also do an article about stippers working at strip joints with graduate degrees. I have met few with business, engineering, etc degrees and that work as strippers because they cannot find work.
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I don't care if someone gets a soft degree, at any level, and then winds up in debt/underemployed. If they are driving a cab or waiting on tables with a PhD in their pocket that's OK with me. If they pay their bills then I'm good with them. But if they're "on welfare" that's another matter because that means that I (and you) are paying for their mistake.
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    A classmate of mine from MSPP made the very unfortunate decision (which I tried in vain to talk her out of) to move to Florida after graduating, where the job market sucks overall, and is especially bad for Master's-level mental health counselors. She's waiting tables at a tourist restaurant, but she is making her student loan payments, so good luck to her.

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