Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Universities are really keen to employ graduate students at low wages to teach classes, so they're keen to admit people to their programs, but they're rather less keen to employ them once they've graduated and should enjoy a full academic salary, and that's a problem. "After graduation, they often end up as part-time instructors vying for limited tenure-track positions, unsure of how to market their skills in the non-academic job market." This article references a report released yesterday by the Council of Canadian Academies, Degrees of Success (225 page PDF), documenting the problem. It was sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The report looks at the economic return from a PhD, but also at the prevailing sentiment that working outside academia "is a failure and that seeking work outside academia is a betrayal of graduates' and faculty ideals", their supervisors' disinterest in preparing graduates for non-academic positions, and belief in the private sector that PhD graduates "come from 'another world' and that they lack certain essential professional skills."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 26, 2023 6:57 p.m.

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