I want to be a professor. Am I crazy?
sophiewi at uoguelph.ca
Thu Oct 12 15:46:30 EST 1995
Despite my sensationalizing subject tagline, I assure you that this is a
serious question. Responses would be appreciated...
I'm 31. I've been working as a journalist in Canada since 1990. Over
that time I've discovered that (as my mum says) journalism doesn't have
the level of "integrity of inquiry" that I crave. I like journalism
allows me to follow my curiosity... but it never allows me to follow it
I've also found that I'm particularly interested in
I have been working for an organization (the CBC for those in Canada)
that's in a financial crisis. This helped me decide it was time to
seriously rethink where I'm going.
Last year I took a night course in psychology. (First year, intro.) I
loved it. I got 91%.
Then I did several aptitude and interest tests with a career counsellor.
The results indicated that I might be happiest - with a graduate degree,
and working as a college professor (!) in a social science or health
I like teaching. I like helping. I like thinking and
analysing and writing ... so this made sense. It fit. (My dad's a
professor too.) This year I took a deep breath
and came back to university. I'm taking first year science courses.
Guess what? I LOVE it. I can't get enough. I want to do this forever.
Learning is great!
(I could throttle that grade 12 science teacher who turned me off science
in the first place. Why did I let him influence me so much? AARgh.)
Yet.. I'm 31. My partner and I want to start having children. Prospects
for universities in Canada look grim -- all seem to be hiring less
people, and hiring them as sessionals instead of tenure-track profs.
I've spoken to several professors on campus about this. They generally
say that yes, things ARE grim, and I should be REALLY SURE I want to do
So. I'm seeking further opinions. I'd love to hear from any of you ---
as a group you seem to have some insightful perspectives.
Is it reasonable to come back to university in this "day and age" with
the goal of becoming a professor?
What if I'm 31 instead of 21? (38ish by the time I have a Ph. D. in
hand) Will that make a difference in terms of hiring?
Are some subjects safer bets for future jobs than others?
(RIght now I'm considering psychology, nutrition, and biology.)
How would you recommend I get more information about this? What factors
do you think I should research before making a decision?
Again - I'd appreciate any and every insight - via newsgroup or EMail. I
don't want to get this wrong!
Thank you. Much.
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