Why Your Advice for Ph.D.s Leaving Academe Might Be Making Things Worse

Erin Bartram, Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 12, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This is a follow-up to the Erin Bartram story, the history PhD who couldn't find a position and left the field, writing a letter about her departure that everyone read. I wrote about it back in February. The Chronicle also published a short abridged version of her article. The original is much better and we know this because the comments that follow from the academic crowd that reads the Chronicle are, well, brutal and unsympathetic. Today Bertram writes, "Academe isn’t even fully honest about the bleak conditions of its own job market — perhaps because to describe it accurately still feels like hyperbole to some. Giving Pollyannaish advice doesn’t help those leaving the faculty career path any more than it does for those remaining." No kidding.

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