The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.
Academics... let's go dictionary:
ac·a·dem·ic /ˌækəˈdɛmɪk/ Show Spelled
[ak-uh-dem-ik] Show IPA
1. of or pertaining to a college, academy, school, or other educational institution, especially one for higher education: academic
2. pertaining to areas of study that are not primarily vocational or applied, as the humanities or pure mathematics.
Sort of positive
3. theoretical or hypothetical; not practical, realistic, or directly useful: an academic question; an academic discussion of a matter already
4. learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.
5. conforming to set rules, standards, or traditions; conventional: academic painting.
Positive if one likes that sort of thing (I don't)
6. acquired by formal education, especially at a college or university: academic preparation for the ministry.
Positive if one likes pulpits & dogma, negative if one doesn't
7. ( initial capital letter ) of or pertaining to Academe or to the Platonic school of philosophy.
Meh...PhD's, BA's, BSA's. I'll touch on that later.
8. a student or teacher at a college or university.
Not a bad job, right? Well, perhaps not...
9. a person who is academic in background, attitudes, methods, etc.: He was by temperament an academic, concerned with books and the arts.
Negative or positive.
10. ( initial capital letter ) a person who supports or advocates the Platonic school of philosophy.
I hate repetition.
11. academics, the scholarly activities of a school or university, as classroom studies or research projects: more emphasis on academics and less
OK... sure sounds negative, doesn't it? Yes it does. These people that get into that must be either come from extremely rich families who can afford
to put them through 'further education' or they are complete fools for going so deep into debt that it'll take 25 years to get their collective heads
above water again.
Hi... that's me. The dad
who was encouraged by how well his two sons did that he pushed and provided for them both to go to universities. Of
the two (who both made the grade), one actually thrived
in academia and graduated 'with distinction'. Lovely term, eh? Well, it meant that he
won a PhD scholarship to one of Canada's foremost universities and, boy, were those years ever hard on him, but he DID
it. He has a PhD,
published his thesis and looked upon the academic world for possible opportunities to work towards a full time job teaching, maybe even that holy
Here's reality, folks:
No-one can handle teaching more than between 8 and 10 classes a week. This is because prep time and marking papers, which is all done at home, takes a
huge chunk of time. The pay is minimal, so 8-10 is about what you need to be able to have an apartment and a reasonable living. It varies city to
city, college to university, of course;
No classes are more than 4 months at a time. They are contracts and can be dropped at any time by the college or university. You have to re-apply for
every term and for each institution. You win some, you lose some, you'd better be ready for change 4 times a year.
One rarely gets all their courses set up at the same college or university and, often, they are in seperate cities. Commuting is a real pain AND
One always has to be ready to move, as the next seies of classes could very well be a thousand miles away (or more).
Contract 'professors' are low paid compared to tenured staff, so financing a car and
an apartment in a city may very well be a no-win
situation. Buses and trains rule. The schedules had better fit or you're in trouble.
It has been my son's experience that he'd be better off working a steady 40hr/wk minimum wage job flipping burgers at a Micky Dee than he makes as a
professor. And that's the bottom line.
Academia, while it's still viewed as the key to a better paying job somewhere
, don't be fooled. The better jobs are gained by being trained in
the 'Trades'. Go to college, learn to be a plumber or electrician, and you just might have a brighter future that those who focus on Academia.
Butt-crack under a sink is the real flag of success.
Don't misunderstand me, though. It's the way it is because of economics. We still need academics simply because they are the one out of a thousand who
will eventually become pillars of country and community. Would you trust Joe the plumber to be Chief Justice? Really?
Anyways... the system is stacked against academics today, and, imo, not worth all the time and effort it requires to attain that PhD. Leave it for the
very wealthy kids. The ones that never need to work a day in their lives anyways. Win/win and life-long frat parties. Woot!
But, be very careful when you're talking to a lower middle class man or woman who fought all the way to a PhD. Don't be making him or her out to be a
lazy so-and-so, because that's just not right. If you think it's so easy to pull off, then please prove it to me, because that's not what I saw over
the 8 years it took my son. Not then and not now.
As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.