Is a career as a professor the right choice for you? If you are a graduate student, how can you clear the hurdles successfully and position yourself for academic employment? What's the best way to prepare for a job interview, and how can you maximize your chances of landing a job that suits you? What happens if you don't receive an offer? How does the tenure process work, and how do faculty members cope with the multiple and conflicting day-to-day demands?
With a perpetually tight job market in the traditional academic fields, the road to an academic career for many aspiring scholars will often be a rocky and frustrating one. Where can they turn for good, frank answers to their questions? Here, three distinguished scholars—with more than 75 years of combined experience—talk openly about what's good and what's not so good about academia, as a place to work and a way of life.
Written as an informal conversation among colleagues, the book is packed with inside information—about finding a mentor, avoiding pitfalls when writing a dissertation, negotiating the job listings, and much more. The three authors' distinctive opinions and strategies offer the reader multiple perspectives on typical problems. With rare candor and insight, they talk about such tough issues as departmental politics, dual-career marriages, and sexual harassment. Rounding out the discussion are short essays that offer the "inside track" on financing graduate education, publishing the first book, and leaving academia for the corporate world.
This helpful guide is for anyone who has ever wondered what the fascinating and challenging world of academia might hold in store.
Part I - Becoming a Scholar * Deciding on an Academic Career * Entering Graduate School * The Mentor * Writing a Dissertation * Landing an Academic Job Part II - The Academic Profession * The Life of the Assistant Professor * Teaching and Research * Tenure * Competition in the University System and Outside Offers * The Personal Side of Academic Life
Friendly and chatty advice
By J. Larson-Hall - March 4, 2004
I personally love this book and find it to be much more interesting, and in some ways informative, than a similar book I have which is a bit more clinical in its approach. It's full of personal anecdotes and lots of advice that I enjoyed. And why should anyone get mad just because the two white, male professors said they have not noticed any discrimination against women in their fields? They don't say there isn't any, and indeed, give some statistics and information to say there probably *is* discrimination, but of a more covert manner than in the past. This book has a chapter that my other book doesn't on counteroffers and moving around in academia, how to negotiate family and the 'two-body' problem, and other more intimate advice than some other books give. The authors seem to recognize that academics is not all about publishing, teaching, and service. It involves many other aspects of your life, and they touch on them. That said, a 3-hour chat with 3 of your own professors... read more
A guide to the academic job market and working conditions
By Erica C - March 19, 2008
As a PhD student, I would say that this book is more useful for two groups of people: 1) those who are thinking of going through a phd program and becoming professors, and 2) for advanced phd students who are getting to the job market. This book is lacking in useful advice for funding, staging the phd progress and conducting research, which is why I originally bought it. (It might be better titled as "guide to the academic job market and working conditions")
Also, the conversational style of dialog between the three professors straight-up bugs me, like they couldn't find an editor to synthesize their opinions in a clear fashion. Sometimes the attribution of stories and experiences to the particular professor is good, but most of the time, it's just distracting.
Good points are things like the major major concern about going for all kinds of funding and not racking up a hundred thousand dollars in student loans if you're not in law or medical school. Also problems... read more
An extremely helpful guide
By J. Thompson - December 16, 2008
Earlier this year, I was having trouble deciding whether what I could get in academia was what I wanted out of life (I have been out of college and working for 2 years).
This book was a very big help in making that decision. The multiple perspectives from all 3 authors helps place the emphasis on the fact that you need to weigh all the factors to make these decisions about your academic career.
After seeing some of the positives and negatives of academic life in this book, I am convinced that the positives of what I can do in my career will far outweigh the negatives. And in the future, I will be able to refer back to this book when I need to be reminded of things about the dissertation, the job search, etc.