17 May 2010

Disheartening

It's very sad to see commentary on this Higher Ed article by Megan McArdle like this, and be unable to deny it.
[Such employer abuse] is common, of course--in academia. Until they have tenure, faculty are virtual prisoners of their institution. Those on the tenure track work alongside a vast class of have-nots who are some of the worst-paid high school graduates in the country. So it's not surprising to me that this is how academics come to view labor markets--nor that they naturally assume that it must be even worse on the outside. And that's before we start talking about the marriages strained, the personal lives stunted, because those lucky enough to get a tenure-track job have to move to a random location, often one not particularly suited to their spouses' work ambitions or their own personal preferences . . . a location which, barring another job offer, they will have to spend the rest of their life in.
Just the kind of thing a grad student wants to hear, particularly when added to charts like this:


BEST UNDERGRAD COLLEGE DEGREES BY SALARYSTARTING MEDIAN SALARYMID-CAREER MEDIAN SALARY
Aerospace Engineering$59,600$109,000
Chemical Engineering$65,700$107,000
Computer Engineering$61,700$105,000
Electrical Engineering$60,200$102,000
Economics$50,200$101,000
Physics$51,100$98,800
...


Radio and Television$34,000$67,000
English$37,800$66,900
Agriculture$40,900$66,700
Hotel Business Management$37,400$66,400

Of course, it could be worse... marginally.


Spanish$35,600$52,600
Music$34,000$52,000
Theology$34,800$51,500
Elementary Education$33,000$42,400
Social Work$33,400$41,600

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