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Unread 07-23-2010, 08:56 AM
 
168 posts, read 207,283 times
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Default Anyone work in academia/higher education? What are the pros/cons?

I've realized I have a very scholarly way of thinking about things and enjoy losing myself in concepts/theory. I graduated summa *** laude and have sorely missed being in an academic environment since graduating in December 2007. I've worked in the business world for a few years now and feel I don't get the same satisfaction out of it as I would working for a college/university. (I recently created a thread noting that I'm interested in leaving the start-up I work for to pursue better-paying opportunities.)

Here's what I have in mind:
1. Getting a full-time job at a two-year college/4-year university.
2. Provided they offer it, have the university reimburse me for tuition paid toward a master's degree.
3. Once I've worked there for a few years, consider looking for a faculty position within the university itself. I'd love to teach English and/or business and marketing.

Does this plan sound feasible? Would it be better to set my sights on higher education administration as opposed to teaching? Or can I possibly squeeze both into my career plan?

Thanks in advance.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 48,824,101 times
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What is your undergrad in?
What would you expect to earn your masters in?

Which is better at 26 years old and single? Having 95% job satisfaction and earning $45K a year, or Having 65% job satisfaction and earning $80K a year?

Which is better at 42 years old, married and three kids? Having 95% job satisfaction and earning $45K a year, or Having 65% job satisfaction and earning $80K a year?
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:09 AM
 
168 posts, read 207,283 times
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I don't get your drift, Charles. Do you mean to say that you can't really move up much if you go into academia?
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 48,824,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
I don't get your drift, Charles. Do you mean to say that you can't really move up much if you go into academia?
I think a lot depends on the major. People who majored in something like English or History might do better in academia than in non-academia. People who majored in engineering or the sciences may do better in industry.

What are the answers to the questions in post 2?
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,743 posts, read 8,452,295 times
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What kind of full-time job are you imagining you're going to get at a university? If you don't have a PhD or are not a grad student at that particular college, your likelihood of getting an academic or teaching position is pretty much nil. Most people who work at universities don't teach, they are administrative assistants, they catalog books in the library, they plan student events, they work with donors, etc.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:39 AM
 
168 posts, read 207,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post

What are the answers to the questions in post 2?
What is your undergrad in? Marketing

What would you expect to earn your masters in? Not sure at this point. If I decide to go the higher ed administration route, I'd presume it would be in that. If it were to teach, maybe Marketing or English -- my two favorite subjects.

As far as your final two questions: I'd rather earn less and love my job than make more and be miserable. As long I can cover my expenses and still have some left over for a rainy day, I'm content. I'm the farthest thing from a frivolous spender.

I don't plan on getting a Ph.D. If I were to teach, I would stick to two-year colleges, where you only need a master's degree.

I've also looked into curriculum/academic advising, which I think falls under higher education administration.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 48,824,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
What is your undergrad in? Marketing



I'd rather earn less and love my job than make more and be miserable. As long I can cover my expenses and still have some left over for a rainy day,
For you it may be a tough decision. You have a degree that can earn (possibly quite a bit more) money outside of academia. You might not be "miserable" but but if you are married and have kids and those types of responsibilities, you might have to consider a trade off of more money for less ideal working life.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:50 AM
 
168 posts, read 207,283 times
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I've read that higher education administrators can make some decent green, while professors don't make as much and probably have to spend a lot more on all that education.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 48,824,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordsmith12 View Post
I've read that higher education administrators can make some decent green,

I would think these would be the most competitive jobs, requiring the most experience, a butt kicking hard worker, big time leadership skills, etc. Also, someone who is qualified to become a higher education admin, may be able to do much better financially in industry.
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Unread 07-23-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
11,743 posts, read 8,452,295 times
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Quote:
I would think these would be the most competitive jobs, requiring the most experience, a butt kicking hard worker, big time leadership skills, etc.
Exactly. Do you have any teaching experience, Wordsmith? Your most direct path into working at a university would probably be using the skills you already have, working in the development or public relations departments. You seem to have a rather romantic view of higher education--you need very specialized education and skills to work in academia. They don't just take people in off the street.
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