Academic Morale and Ponzi Schemes

By | 5th December 2018

“In last 2 wks, startling number of academics at different unis have told me they’re trying to: move country, leave academia, go part time, take early retirement—or have quit trying to get academic job. Many who feel unable to take these options describe feeling desperate, trapped.”…

…Why would we ever think it was a bad idea for there to be a number of bright and well-educated people with PhDs following successful careers outside the academy? What is more of a problem is when those people are leaving as a result of bad experiences – “noble science deployed as a guise”… This is reinforced by the effortless entitlement of many academics in dismissing those who make different choices as failures, people who just could not hack it in a tough world. It is time for a reappraisal of postgraduate and postdoctoral work as elements in the creation of a portfolio of skills that open many career tracks. They are not primarily about cheap academic labour but personal and professional development.

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One thought on “Academic Morale and Ponzi Schemes

  1. Pauline

    Dear Prof Dingwall,
    This brings back memories of my last discussions with you which was regarding your question about where I I intend to use my skills post PhD? Your insight in this blog has helped me to renew my resolve to stick to my plans of entering into the field of implementation research. Given the draught in the labour market, I guess I must stay positive and work hard to grow my own farm. As we speak, it is very hard for me to conceive the idea of joining the academic world based on my observation of what those who are in practice are experiencing and knowing that in the face of the daily diversification of the British/European politics, things will likely get worse before they get better. So thank you for bringing this issue to light.


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