Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting Out of the Ivory Tower

It seems that one reason to value an education in philosophy or liberal arts is that, while not vocational, it teaches one how to think and learn. This, apparently, can make our graduates quite employable.

It's a further question whether those of us who've stuck around academia for longer, doing PhDs, further develop these skills or simply become over-qualified for other work. Nonetheless, it seems that a number of people are starting to entertain doubts about their academic futures. For some, this may be a question of whether they can or will 'make the grade', while others are concerned with whether academia is consistent with other things they want in their lives, including families.

Thankfully, it looks like the skills developed in academia can have uses in the wider world of work. It seems a number of people in these discussions have realized that it is possible to get out of the academic 'rat race' (massive job hunt, pressure to publish, tenure), find a better paid job in the corporate world, and still dabble in their philosophical interests as a hobby.

Food for thought if the job market doesn't improve...

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