…but apparently it can’t be any good.* Rana posts a mini-mini-rant with that title, bemoaning the fact that a PhD really doesn’t get anyone rich. There’s a little back-n-forth in her comments, people mostly agreeing with but also qualifying her rant.
I remember when I was telling Brian’s family we indeed were going to move to NY so I could get one. My then-brother-in-law, who always thought in dollar signs, said something to me about “being able to write my own ticket” when I was done. Even then, I knew I wasn’t going to be doing brain surgery or rocket engineering–I knew very well that there would be no ticket-writing in the sense that he meant. So I smiled and said something about having a lot of academic freedom and opportunity, and didn’t say anything about money.
Why didn’t I disuade him of this idea? Mostly because I was still feeling as though I had to convince everyone we were leaving behind that it would be good for us in the long run.
We had the annual “Job Seekers Reveal the Secret Hell that is the Job Search” colloquium this afternoon, where those who are finishing up their search come and reveal the secret hell that is the job search. SU has been fortunate(?) in that so far, all PhD CCR grads have found some kind of gainful employment upon finishing (or near-finishing [ABD]) the program. Many of them have found better than decent gigs at fairly decent schools.
I sat in on their talk thinking of a time in the not-so-distant future where I, too, will worry about excessive perspiration, cheek-soreness from constant smiling, and stomach cramps from stress and multiple-rejections. God, I thought. What if I don’t get a job AT ALL? What will the family think THEN?
And THEN I thought: shit. I’ll work for Lockheed Martin. They need tech writers. I’ll just NOT TELL THEM that I have a PhD.** Because, as the comments in Rana’s post confirm, the PhD makes you so un-hire-able that Taco Bell will LAUGH in your face if you apply. [She can’t use a caulking gun to shoot sour cream! She’s been sitting in a basement for 5 years reading books and drinking fair trade coffee!!]
No, no. I like what I do. I like teaching, I like reading, I like writing. I like getting money (what little I do now, and what little I might get in the future) for doing things that I would be doing anyway. I will get my crap together. I will organize my desk. I will finish my reading lists and proposals. I WILL.
And since I had my IT band kneaded, stretched, and impossibly contorted today by a woman who shall remain nameless but is now an angel in my heart, let the training for the Boilermaker commence!
*via dictionary.com: Bupkis: something worthless; nothing. I had to look it up. I hate not knowing.
**And I won’t tell any of my school friends that I’ve accepted a job with a company that builds planes that carry bombs, either. I gotta feed my kids, right?