As part of an on-going theme, check out this video:
The conversation in the above video is absolutely brutal but pretty on target. I have had students ask for recommendations who have taken my 600 student Intro class. Oy! And I have had students with B-'s ask for recommendations. It was actually easier to say now to the latter category than the former.
Yep, it is the sequel to the one on law school. I have five students on the academic job market this fall. It appears that this year is better than last, but that is like saying that a mild heart attack is not as bad as a severe stroke. So far, two of my students have gotten some opportunities, but it is too early to see how they play out. As I have said before, mama, don't let you kids grow up to be grad students.
Of course, I have a crappy imagination, so if my readers can provide me with answers to the question the undergrads always ask me now, I would greatly appreciate it. The question is: if not law school or grad school, then what? I don't know. Police, rodeo, firefighter, astronaut? One reason why I stayed in grad school is that I could not imagine doing anything else. Luckily, I was able to find a job and then another. And it is the right occupation for me--it is not as nearly negative as the video makes it out to be. Perhaps that is partly the difference between social science and the humanities. So, it is not quite that miserable to be a prof. Indeed, it can be a very good job. But it is not as easy to get one (and it was not easy at all to win a ticket to 6 years in Lubbock) as it was.
HT to Jacob Levy.