Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be professors...

Apologies to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson for the post title...

Read an interesting article in Yahoo! Finance yesterday on 7 Jobs Companies are Desperate to Fill.  Number 7 on the list was Geoscientist.  It claims that the education required was a Bachelor's degree or higher and average annual earning are supposedly $79,160.  Good PR for the students, many geology professors like myself will print this out and distribute it to their classes.

Of course, it's depressing news for me since it's my 14th year teaching at the college-level as full-time faculty and I still don't make the average salary listed above. We don't even get a cost-of-living increase this year because state and county funding of our community college is so bad that our contract was never  re-negotiated (it expired on August 31).

Foxtrot by Bill Amend

Many people don't realize this, but a PhD with a decade of college-level teaching likely makes about the same as the night manager at your local fast-food place.  And, if your PhD is in something like philosophy or medieval history, you might as well start applying to those fast-food places since academic jobs typically have hundreds of applicants for each position advertised in fields such as those.

It's funny how educated people such as myself have so little common sense that we end up working for much-lower wages than our colleagues in private industry (who have less student loans to pay off too!).


  1. Q: What did the English Literature graduate say to the Engineering graduate?
    A: "Would you like fries with that?"

  2. There are other benefits of teaching, though I find it hard to argue with you.

  3. True enough, I do enjoy the freedom that teaching gives me and really enjoy doing it.