Post Academic


The New York Times feels y/our pain

On Sunday, The New York Times published a piece titled “The Long-Haul Degree” which basically addressed the structural problems with the humanities that we know so well and that have been discussed ad infinitum by professional publications like the Chronicle and Inside Higher Ed, along with ad hoc operations like our blog.  While there’s really no new news in the Times write-up, it is kind of a big deal that such issues are being examined in a mainstream publication.  The article revolves around one data point that is shocking enough to career academics, not to mention the uninitiated who might be reading the piece: normative time for a Ph.D. in the humanities is 9.3 years.

If you want to cut to the chase and skim the data, check out the “multimedia” pop-up graphic linked on the left-side of the page:

* Over 1/3 of Ph.D.s in the humanities from 2008 have “No definite part- or full-time employment,” along with about another 10% with “Employment outside of academia”

* Normative time: 9.3 years in the humanities

* Median age of Ph.D.: 35 years old

* Average loan debt: $23, 315

The exegesis of the NYTimes article after the jump…

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