Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Contemplating Life, Post-Academia

I thought I'd post a link to some blogs and portals that should be of interest to doctoral students and recent graduates.

The best post I've read on Industry vs. Academia is from 2009, by Jonathan Katz. Dr. Katz is a great theorist; I've read his articles on cryptography. As an aside, his recent posts about students not grasping basic concepts were all-too-familiar to instructors in every discipline.

And now, my blog list for those pondering Big Changes in life.
I am (was) an advanced grad student in the social sciences. After a few years of growing dissatisfaction with grad school and academic life and a growing awareness that I would be happier doing something else, I have happily decided to make the move I've wanted to make for a long time ... I'm leaving academia.
This blog was inspired by others who are writing about their transition out of academia or who have already left and feel a positive transformation. After ten years of academic life while pursuing my PhD and teaching in Higher Education in the UK, I too am part of the growing number of post-PhDs who have decided to find happiness outside of the University walls. This blog charts that journey.
Is academia making you miserable?

Are you becoming restless, depressed, apathetic, or cynical? Are you struggling to find a job or finish your degree? Is your teaching feeling rote? Have you lost your enthusiasm for research? Are you resenting your students, your colleagues, your institution, or your discipline?

If so, it's time to escape the ivory tower.
I received my Ph.D. in English recently. A decade ago, I started graduate school as an idealist with lofty goals for research and teaching. I have since become a pragmatist, no longer believing -- given the bleak job market and the structural problems with higher education that have caused it -- that I have a future in the academy. "All the world's a stage," says the Bard, but I don't know what role I am to play in the next act. This blog is an attempt to help figure it out.

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