I found this nifty little article. It was pretty thought provoking for me, as I think of a couple friends who want to go into the role of a PhD professor. I’m curious to hear what our readers make of this article. Here is a portion of it.
Another symptom of precocious professionalism is the quest for a marketable niche. The afflicted students know where their intellectual interests naturally lie, but they distrust themselves. Maybe the European Enlightenment, or colonial North America, calls to them, but they’ve heard that most of the available jobs congregate in the post-1945 period, and they wonder if they just shouldn’t squeeze themselves into that slot.
Faced with such manifestations of precocious professionalism, we teachers of graduate students are caught between a rock and a hard place. The job crisis and its rigors are real. We want our students to be savvy and to go into their graduate training with their eyes fully open. We want them to entertain alternative careers and to keep a plan or two in reserve should things not turn out in academia as they and we hope. In our concern for their welfare, we may even become cheerleaders for precocious professionalism ourselves, invoking its reassuringly concrete criteria in our role as mentors and extending those criteria into our evaluations of the applications of prospective graduate students.
Keep reading here.