where is everyone/PhD and education

Sun Nov 17 20:04:07 EST 1996

>From:          a-schmi at uiuc.edu (aloisia schmid)

>I for one, am impressed with Sarah Boomer and her posting and the
>responses I have seen thus far.  The thing that amazes me is that until
>actually faced with the rejections from job applications, I suspect each
>of us thinks those job-searching problems relate to other people and that
>we ourselves, always over-achievers, will have no trouble finding a job. 
>And then when it happens, I think we all wind up being a little
>shell-shocked.  I am preparing to exit the fox-hole as we speak, and am
>starting the job searches now myself.  The thing is, there has only
>recently been the realization on the part of faculty members, the people
>who are training us, that they themselves have also suffered from this
>head-in-the-sand attitude---that they convinced themselves that THEIR
>students would find jobs, these problems pertained to other people, people
>not as well trained as their own people.  

SO TRUE!!!  A department head here was recently talking about the job situation with his 
grad students and post-docs. When asked if he thought the job market was exceedingly 
tight he said "There will always be jobs for good people."  The implication: just do 
your job well and everything will turn out OK.  This is sticking your head in the 
sand!!!  And worse still, for the majority of PhDs nowadays who don't get that academic 
position they want, it implies the fault is theirs-they weren't good enough.  Especially 
upsetting is the fact that often a sucessful job search is as much timing and luck as 
quality of applicant: School A wants someone working in the system you do because no one 
a School A does, but they don't want a geneticist because they have too many.  School B 
wants a genticist, but not in your system, because several people in the dept already 
work in that system, and on, and on...  To imply that those who don't get the academic 
slots they wanted are "bad" or just of lower quality is bad science IMHO-it's ignoring 
the data!

Enough ranting for a Sunday night.
Julia Frugoli
Dartmouth College

visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-847-8805
"Evil is best defined as militant ignorance."
																										Dr. M. Scott Peck

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