The Ph.D. Bubble

I recently applied to a position in a university that I would have never actively sought under normal circumstances. I had to try really hard to imagine myself at this university in order to motivate myself to apply.

I had the hubris of thinking that this job was below me but apparently I wasn’t even in the running. The person who received the job had twenty publications.

I had one solid publication and two under review, which was considered at one point very respectable. Also, I graduated from one of the top universities in my field of study and I had some of the leading scholars in the field on my committee. But apparently, that’s no longer enough.

One does not need twenty publications to get a job in a tier 3 university. In fact, a tenure track faculty in a tier 1 university needs about 12 publications to GET TENURE, not to get a friggin job!

The adjunctification of faculty has lead to a Ph.D. bubble where there are more and more “highly qualified” candidates (where it’s a game of numbers and not quality) and less and less tenure track jobs.

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2 thoughts on “The Ph.D. Bubble

  1. dawn says:

    After completing articles and passing the bar I applied for a job as a receptionist at the law firm where I now work as a defence lawyer. There is no shame in applying for a position beneath your qualifications if it gets you in the door to where you want to be.

    • Yes, there is no shame in applying for a position beneath me…I’ve cleaned toilets for a job before.
      However, when you take an adjuncting position, there is no future in that.
      I’ve been at my adjuncting job (that pays $18,000/year) for four years and I’ll continue to be here for another fifteen years without ever moving up, getting a pay raise or even getting an office.
      There is no such thing in academia as getting your foot in the door with the hopes of opening that door wide at some point.

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