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ExponentialDecay

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  1. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to Bumblebea in OK, let's talk about UChicago's MAPH. I need some advice...   
    Okay. Several major problems with what you're saying here. 
    No, adjuncting is not your "only option" to stay involved in academia, and not everybody has had to adjunct at some point or another. In fact, again, I would recommend that you do not do this unless you absolutely HAVE to (as in, "I need to stay alive and adjuncting is the only way I can buy food this month"). Yes, the system is exploitative. Yes, the universities are to blame. But no, you are not somehow obligated to be exploited simply because you need to stay in academia and you have an English degree and boy oh boy what are you supposed to do now. 
    More importantly, a degree in English is not some kind of sentence to working at Office Max or Starbucks. To say that is just wrong, and it also hurts us in the long run. Part of the reason the academic job market is so bad--especially in the humanities--is because of the near historic decline of people majoring in the humanities. The school where I got my PhD is busy dismantling the English department as we speak, replacing required lit classes with business writing and creative writing. (And this, by the way, is a "top 30" program, though I doubt it will be much longer.) Part of this decline is due to the fact that people buy into the bullshit that getting a degree in English or history or French will doom you to a lifetime of pouring coffee, and therefore no one is allowing their kids to major in the humanities anymore. When we talk about having to work into Office Max, we perpetuate that myth and do a terrible job of selling our line of work to the next generation of students. A degree in English is actually super useful and can be lucrative. In fact, it may actually be more lucrative in the long run if one decides to go into private sector work. Here's the notoriously conservative "The Hill" on the subject: https://thehill.com/opinion/education/411925-a-humanities-degree-is-worth-much-more-than-you-realize
    I got my (fully funded) master's in a humanity at a time when the economy was tanking--in a much worse place than it is right now. I decided I didn't want to continue to a PhD at that point. I applied for jobs--both adjunct and professional jobs. I landed my first professional editing job making $40k a year with excellent benefits (they wanted an English major!) ... on the same day I got a call from the community college offering me a couple classes for $1100 each. Obviously I chose the editing job. 
    I have never worked as an adjunct. 
    I managed to get into a PhD program several years later; not being part of academia didn't keep me from getting back in. Sure, it was harder in terms of the fact that I didn't have access to JSTOR from home, but I had several public universities in my area where I could go and make copies of articles and use databases. 
    And even if you don't land a professional job, no PhD program is going to care that you worked at Office Max or mopped floors at Wendy's. They just are not going to care!
    I would also add--and this is super important to keep in mind--that it's necessary for humanities PhDs to cultivate skills outside academia. Because, as others have pointed out, even if you get your PhD at Harvard, that's no guarantee of academic employment. The copy editing or technical writing you did for a couple years between degrees might come in handier than you realize. 
  2. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from dr. telkanuru in OK, let's talk about UChicago's MAPH. I need some advice...   
    Why, to entice you to attend, of course! As @WildeThing mentioned, USD 1500 against a total tuition bill of over 60k is nothing. Given my experience with cash cow masters in the US, I would take a "scholarship" under 10k as an insult tbh. Price formation in US education is demand rather than cost driven, so these tuition numbers are a pie-in-the-sky figure that schools use to price-discriminate applicants; a program can give you anything up to free tuition and a stipend, if they want to. It all depends on how interested they are in you as a candidate.
    I don't think this is a useful axis of analysis. All taught programs are a way for the university to make money, which they need to survive/afford stipends for their PhD students. Universities do not offer taught programs as a form of charity. What matters is whether paying for this degree is a good way to get what you want. If it's to get a non-academic job, it probably isn't. If you want to use the degree to move into a PhD, that's something people have done from the MAPH - if you also must go into six figure debt for the privilege, imo that's a much less defensible proposition. But the point is, you don't need a definitive answer in this cash cow-not a cash cow referendum to make good choices for yourself.
  3. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from Bumblebea in Academia Is a Cult   
    If those are the types of skills you mean, I am not sure why you advocate for some involved selection process - you can learn these skills at any job.
  4. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from Bumblebea in Academia Is a Cult   
    Not really:
    1. Trying to predict what will happen 5-10 years from now is a fool's errand. You can make an educated guess, but the degree of field-specific perspective you would need to do that is not typically available to the average entry-level applicant. Also, in 5-10 years, any technical skills you have will be out of date anyway. 
    2. The vast majority of jobs don't require any special skills, or require such that are easy to pick up in a couple months. 
    3. Just in my personal experience, the bigger benefit of having work experience as an applicant with a PhD is that it gives employers the confidence that you can work in an office. Hiring is a risk-mitigation activity, as in employers are not so much interested in hiring the objectively best-skilled person as they are interested in hiring the person that minimizes their risk of a problem employee or having to repeat the search, and that's why stuff like employers fretting about PhDs being overqualified comes in. Something in the same vein that gets discussed less is the inherent contradiction in hiring someone with a terminal degree, who is likely highly technically skilled (even if those skills are transferable), but having no empirical evidence that the person can navigate an office environment - something that most people learn as interns or entry-level employees. It feels silly to hire this person on to do entry-level tasks, but at the same time, when you have no confidence that they can do basic but critical things like appropriately interact with their boss, appropriately interact with the client, etc, you can't hire them on to higher-level roles where the cost to the company of them messing up is much higher. So that's really why it is important for PhD applicants to invest time in getting "real-world" work experience - to demonstrate that they have the basics down.
  5. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to emhafe in Don't Do a PhD in History   
    I'm late to the game, but I do want to add this: getting a PhD in history doesn't automatically qualify you for jobs in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sector. Those fields require different skill sets that aren't normally taught in a traditional history program. As someone mentioned earlier, getting internships and finding opportunities for certificates along the way will greatly boost your odds of getting a job in that field. I'm biased--my PhD is in public history, my MA is in public history, my undergrad had a public history minor--but we need to be realistic about the "alt-ac" jobs that are pushed, especially if people are unprepared for them. Those fields aren't brimming with jobs either, and even with a PhD you'll need to be competitive against BAs and MAs who have more experience in the field. Twenty or thirty years ago you might have managed to do that. It's harder now. 
  6. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to Calgacus in Don't Do a PhD in History   
    This sounds like you're trying to excuse a clearly systemic short-coming of both academia broadly and graduate education specifically. The soft skills you outlined (juggling teaching and research responsibilities, being able to synthesize information, etc.) are not developed in the dynamic way you imply they can you used for.
    The bottom line is that it should not be the responsibility of grad students to find external "side" gigs that will enable them to be employable at the end of the PhD, but that is the reality today. And this reality is what leads @remenis and others to underscore the PhD's immense financial and time cost. The vast majority of programs still insist on running programs geared towards developing students for TT jobs. With TT jobs now being virtually nonexistent, the PhD itself becomes the side gig (or labor of love, or vanity project, or however one wants to frame it based on their level of cynicism). 
    Your framing seems to miss the scale of the problem at multiple levels-- the viability of the careers of individual graduate students that the discipline continues to churn out, *and* the viability of the discipline/"profession" itself. Excusing the deeply problematic ethics of individual faculty, specific programs, or of academia broadly that maintain the current system because it provides grads with life lessons/opportunities to fail/succeed seems misguided and borderline cruel to me. 
  7. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to dr. telkanuru in Academia Is a Cult   
    Having been around for both the original (2015 was my first year of my doctorate), and being currently on the job market (30 applications, 1 interview, 8 outstanding, in case you want to know how that is), some thoughts in no particular order:
    A PhD from a program with substantial resources (note: this is not equivalent to a top program, though there is substantial overlap) is still a worthwhile experience in and of itself. $30-35k yr plus good health insurance isn't nothing in this pre-postapocalyptic hellscape. Plus, I've had multi-month paid trips to Europe each year. My teaching load was light but engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of researching and writing my dissertation. The experience wasn't stress free, but it wasn't a bad sort of stress. A PhD in the humanities takes more than 5 years. Make sure you're funded accordingly (part of the first point). Going to a program without those resources, one where you have to scrape and claw and hustle to get even your basic needs met, is not a worthwhile experience. It's just volunteering to be exploited based on a lie as to future possibilities. The actual line between the two situations is a bit fuzzy, but err on the side of caution. Do not apply to programs just to make sure you go to grad school. I have very little sympathy for those who have recently finished their PhD and are left jobless or in adjunct hell. This includes some of my own friends. Yes, that's more than a bit brutal to say. But at this point, if you didn't know what the academic job market looked like going into it, that's on you. There are abundant resources that not only provide ample warning as to what lies ahead, but that also explain how to set yourself up for a non-academic career outside the academy, or at least outside a traditional professorship track. If the state of the world on the other side of your degree blindsides you, that's because you ignored several hundred flashing neon warning signs accompanied by air-raid sirens, or thought that, for some reason, they were trying to warn everyone else besides you. Have a plan for your post-degree future before you apply. That plan should both identify several possible career paths, most of which should not be "be a professor", and have intermediate goals that set up those career paths roughly mapped out.  Do not adjunct. Do anything other than adjunct. Hopefully that's useful.
  8. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to Ramus in Academia Is a Cult   
    While I caution y'all from placing too much stock in anecdotal data, allow me to share two brief examples of other recent PhD outcomes from my subfield. I imagine you all know the stories about those who end up in adjunct hell, but I wanted to share these two stories because they help illustrate what can happen even when you do everything "right."
    Person A: Graduated from the University of Michigan three years ago with two publications in hand, had participated in one of the keynote panels at the national conference in our field, and was well connected with all the big names in our historical period. A brilliant, brilliant guy. Person A won the lottery in his first year on the job market: he got a TT position at one of the better programs hiring that year (an R2 in the Midwest). But Person A has been absolutely miserable in his job. He lives in a place without the intellectual life he enjoyed in Ann Arbor; he lives in a place without any kind of city life; and he's stuck with students who aren't terribly smart or engaged. Every time I talk to person A, he talks about how he wishes he could leave his job but that he feels like he has no way to escape. The takeaway: even when you get achieve "the dream," you may realize that, in reality, it's not quite all it was cracked up to be.
    Person B: Is graduating this year from Yale University with two publications and multiple national conference presentations. Person B struck out entirely on the academic job market this year (which isn't saying much, as there were three jobs posted in our subfield). Person B is now scrambling to accomplish the transition to an alternative -- which he had always thought would be an easy one. He's now in a position to graduate with no job lined up, having struck out thus far on "alt-ac" jobs, too. Person B, who had dreams of being the next Stanley Fish, resorted to calling me a couple months back to ask how to break into technical writing, and he now seems resigned to volunteer to gain experience, taking on personal debt in the process. The takeaway: don't buy into "you can just do something else if it doesn't work out," as though employers are waiting around to hire English PhDs. Moving out of higher ed takes time, dedication, and hard work, often requiring you to seek and participate in internships or learn new skills before you can find a job. Though it often gets framed as the easy back-up option, it can take months or years to develop the kind of resume that would make you competitive for the jobs that can put you on a path toward stability.
  9. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from prospectivegrad2020 in Decision Point: Accept JHU SAIS w/ aid or wait a year to apply to...   
    The career pivots you are considering are all pretty disparate and it is not clear to me how a policy master's would help you with them. For example, economic consulting is actually highly quantitative, so going from a policy degree to economic consulting is a difficult leap; if you are interested in economic consulting, you should get a quant degree with a focus on applied math and econ. On the other hand, a policy degree would set you up well for political risk consulting. But, because you're considering political and economic consulting in the same phrase, it feels like you think they're interchangeable and therefore makes me think that you haven't actually researched either. Your "in-house at a financial services firm or tech company" idea is too vague to be useful, but I can tell you that policy/strategy in financial services are all mid-late career roles that hire people with extant careers in Washington, not recent grads from master's programs.
    In terms of accepting the SAIS offer, it does seem like you applied on a whim and didn't really consider what you're doing deeply, which doesn't set you up for success. 20k is low; with your profile, if you were able to articulate a realistic career path/appear like you know what you're doing, I think you could get much more. I don't think the student body at any of the prestigious policy schools differs in any measurable way, with the exception of programs that have a more serious quant prereq, like Harvard MPA-ID, but if your desired career is NYC-based, it makes more sense to go to SIPA. I would also consider getting an MBA alongside/instead of. 
    But, before you do any of that, I'd get a concrete understanding of why specifically you don't like your current job. Keep in mind that most policy grads end up doing some form of consulting, and all types of consulting are 90% the same shit across the board. A lot of grads also end up going back to their old careers, because this is a hard degree to find a job with, especially one that is "prestigious" and pays well. There are many ways to move on from a toxic job, and a policy degree is one of the less obvious ones imo.
  10. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from fkeod021 in Salaries pre- & post-graduating from your Master's program of choice   
    Can confirm. Once you're out, people see 1) that you have a master's, 2) that it's in IR, which doesn't imply anything in particular about what you know or can do. The hair-splitting about the relative prestigiousness of various IR programs that goes on in this forum is pretty silly. If you're going to get this degree, praise be to god, get one that doesn't put you in a financial hole. Everything else is very secondary.
  11. Like
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from undergoat88 in 100k debt for IR Masters worth it?   
    @elmo_says Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's a lot easier to make it anywhere if you come from money.
    My issue with you is that you're perpetuating the mindset that gets people suckered into these programs in the first place. You dispel the notion that these programs are exclusive and what you need to succeed only to replace it with another similar one - actually, what you need for success is to be a "rich international type" with a PhD in engineering from MIT. (As an aside, I will never forgive you for that phrasing. As someone who works in development, you purport to help developing countries and then you turn around and disparage the very people coming from those countries, often(!) at great personal cost, to participate in that work and make sure that not just your imperialist perspective gets heard - how dare you). This is unhelpful for two reasons: because few people can will themselves into becoming a rich international type with a PhD in engineering from MIT, and also because it's bullshit.
    More people are funded in these programs than you think, not only via internal scholarships, but via external scholarships or by their government or employer. The money is out there and you can get it. It is good practice to get it now, because the public sector, if we come down to brass tacks, is fully about convincing different groups of people to give you money to do socially important things. The scheme for getting money is simple and the same for everyone: 
    Get your hard stats in order Have work experience that you can make relevant (NB: this is an exercise in storytelling, not an exercise in asking Daddy to get you a position at State) Pay attention to fit: know what you can offer a program Apply widely Negotiate And if you don't get money, here's what you can do to build a successful policy career without a degree in public policy. I'll start with the other degrees you can get, but the rest of the list is more interesting and arguably more impactful.
    Get a degree in something else: business, area studies, economics, etc. The specific MPA/MPP title does not matter in 99% of cases. Get a degree somewhere else: Canada, Europe, Asia. The network at the top policy schools does help, but I also meet a lot of people who are tired of the cookie-cutter SAIS grads and want to hire people from new perspectives and experiences. GET A JOB. Get a job in the Parks and Rec department of Pawnee, Indiana. Get a job in the Kafkaesque government of your tiny third world state. Get a job at Goldman. Get a job at a tiny nonprofit. It's bullshit that you need to live in DC and work at State or the World Bank in order to do anything in this field. State and the World Bank are where impact goes to die. The real work and learning happens on the ground, often among people without advanced degrees but with lots of enthusiasm. I meet so many people in their late 20s-early 30s who are considered top in their field who graduated Podunk State and started their careers as low-level bureaucrats in flyover country. Most of them got their advanced degrees 6-8 years out of college; some don't even have them.  Do your own thing. You don't need a degree to start a small business or an after-school activity for low-income children. You already know what your community needs, and I bet you're smart enough to figure out how to help them get it. This knowledge is more valuable - including to employers - than whatever Dani Rodrik will lecture at you for 2 years at Harvard. Do something other than policy for a few years. Lots of people come in from other backgrounds in business, health, engineering, whatever.  Meet people. For my part, I am continually amazed at how many people in my dog-eat-dog callous and jaded field have taken their time, effort, and not infrequently money to help me out for nothing in return (although gratitude is a nice touch). So many busy and important people want to mentor and guide you (sometimes pay you) - but you do need to reach out. Most people get broken by this field eventually but few forget why they're even in this thing, and if you're a promising young person who has something to offer, they get really excited. There is such an incredible variety of policy careers and policy backgrounds. You don't need to be a rich international type to be in policy, and you don't need to follow a single prescribed path. If you're a young person with a bachelor's level education and some idea of how to position your perspective within the context of the field, you have so many opportunities to work, travel, and make an impact. It's a shame to chain yourself to a DC office job straight out of college.
  12. Like
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from Mogwai in Full ride at Syracuse vs. Ivy   
    No policy degree is worth more than like 20k out of pocket (I personally wouldn't even pay that). Take the full ride.
  13. Like
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from undergoat88 in Full ride at Syracuse vs. Ivy   
    No policy degree is worth more than like 20k out of pocket (I personally wouldn't even pay that). Take the full ride.
  14. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from EscapingBrexit in Salaries pre- & post-graduating from your Master's program of choice   
    Can confirm. Once you're out, people see 1) that you have a master's, 2) that it's in IR, which doesn't imply anything in particular about what you know or can do. The hair-splitting about the relative prestigiousness of various IR programs that goes on in this forum is pretty silly. If you're going to get this degree, praise be to god, get one that doesn't put you in a financial hole. Everything else is very secondary.
  15. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from AdvancedDegreeAlumnus in Salaries pre- & post-graduating from your Master's program of choice   
    Can confirm. Once you're out, people see 1) that you have a master's, 2) that it's in IR, which doesn't imply anything in particular about what you know or can do. The hair-splitting about the relative prestigiousness of various IR programs that goes on in this forum is pretty silly. If you're going to get this degree, praise be to god, get one that doesn't put you in a financial hole. Everything else is very secondary.
  16. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to AdvancedDegreeAlumnus in Salaries pre- & post-graduating from your Master's program of choice   
    Exactly - remember nonprofit is a large field. These places are trying to poach talent from top tier consulting firms, investment banking, and the federal government. Salaries reflect this focus.
    Obviously people going into these programs need to be realistic. If you are straight out of Peace Corps then you aren't getting 6 figures in the nonprofit space (think ~$50K). But if you have real work experience and you hustle you can get high salaries out of these programs. 
    Lastly, before I get off my soapbox, I made an account on here because I regularly see programs (including mine) trashed on here by specific people. Let me just be as crystal clear as possible, it does not matter where you go to grad school in almost all cases, your pre-graduate school professional experience is what matters. Literally nobody has ever asked or cares what I studied in graduate school.
  17. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to AdvancedDegreeAlumnus in American University SIS - Respectable Program but Lags Behind the Rest of the IR Power 7   
    @GradSchoolGrad Dude, did anyone ask you for your hot take? Seriously, you are insufferable. To the point that I literally made this account just to respond to this post. 
    I have seen a couple of your posts, and I just want to make it clear to you (and every other person looking at grad schools) YOU DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ALL SCHOOLS. Neither do you know everything about all industries. 
    When I was looking at grad school this forum was a useful resource to share tips among applicants. Now you are transforming it into your own personal fiefdom where you pass off your hot takes on various schools as credible advice for prospective students. 
    @literally everyone else on here --> PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: do your own research and do not listen to this guy shouting down at you from his self perceived ivory tower. 
  18. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from studious_kirby in MPP Programs with little/no experience required?   
    Aside from Princeton, all policy schools routinely take people straight from undergrad (and stiff them with the full bill, maybe with a tenner knocked off). That said, what you propose is a supremely bad idea in every way. There is no good reason to go to professional school out of undergrad. You won't have the work experience, direction, and probably maturity to make anything more of the experience than just an extension of college. A 6 figure degree shouldn't be a box to tick - especially since you only do it once. At least you're doing a year-long internship, but you should also consider doing another 2 or 3 years in a full-time job, even cursorily relevant to policy. It's never too late to go to grad school, but it is frequently too early.
  19. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to TMP in Don't Do a PhD in History   
    Being honest has been there but PhD programs, like @NoirFemmepointed out, haven't been designed to help PhD students develop credible skills.  Working as a grader barely does anything than being assigned as a Graduate Administrative Assistant planning for a big conference at the end of the semester or managing an academic journal.  The anxiety that graduate students have is with the Powers to Be being unwilling to share their graduate labor with the community that would gladly take smart, capable people as interns. My program has decided to circumvent that by simply offering a 3-credit "course" to allow grad students have time to do that instead of taking another readings course. 
    I have had many conversations with a particular colleague whose program did not train her to be more cutting-edge like transnational or global history and she's been struggling.  She went directly to PhD from undergrad and has been working to build up administrative skills -- on the side (and her advisers aren't too happy, from what she says). Should she have had to pick up extra jobs to make up for what her top-15 graduate program did not deliver?  Nope.
    However, what this pandemic HAS done is make absolutely clear that PhD programs will not be able to place their PhD students at the same rate as they did before.  There are jobs but the crash is real and the lines available are being driven by economics and social demands.  For example, East Asian and Middle Eastern history positions have been relatively plentiful -- until this year.  The new "hot" commodity is African-American/African/Black diaspora history and these fields now combine to about 30 positions or so.  Every other field-- Modern Europe, Latin America, etc. have been relatively flat though they plummeted this year. South Asia and History of STEM are rising. The US History field is, what I have seen, largely defined by current student demands and race and ethnicity have been emphasized. Therefore, graduate students choosing fields need to understand that the market will change and be prepared to accept the market for what it is when they're ready to apply. 
    I do agree with @NoirFemme's final point about those who are 100% committed to being professor should be the last ones to apply because what are those people doing to do if they don't get jobs as a professor upon graduating from a PhD program? They are not being open-minded enough and being flexible with the reality.  At the same time, @Sigabais right about commitment to the historian's craft. To be successful academically -- and I mean with a solid CV -- one does need to be committed to research and writing an excellent dissertation that can be converted to a publishable book without significant distractions to slow down the progress (and costing the university/department more $).  Unless you're an amazing multi-tasker and at time management to be able to take up side activities to build up your resume, do work for a few years before entering the PhD so you can, perhaps, easily transition back to the "working world" with those skills and more.
  20. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to NoirFemme in Don't Do a PhD in History   
    I wasn't aware that being honest about what is happening in doctoral programs in the middle of a global pandemic, which is turning higher ed upside down, is gatekeeping. I find it highly irresponsible for current graduate students to tell prospective students to apply without laying out what they will probably face in programs that are in difficult positions to offer proper mentorship, research support, financial resources, and general advice. I have mentored first years in different programs since I was in my second year, and I am honest and frank with the incoming first years right now about how little advice I can give because I did not begin my program in this context. Pretending that being a doctoral student is solely about a life of the mind, or a few years to explore a dream, is the sole province of the privileged. 
    Also, I am not and will never be in the position to gatekeep academia, so throwing that accusation at me is astonishing. 
  21. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay reacted to NoirFemme in Don't Do a PhD in History   
    I am a black woman who is also first-gen and working class.
    I should think that my background gives me qualifications for understanding the way doctoral programs are designed to not only keep people like me out and/or marginalized, but create a false reality that will leave you assed out if you don't go through the program with open eyes for your own future.
  22. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from d1389jjch in Too Old for History Phd?   
    You're not arguing that a hobbyist shouldn't be admitted at all. You're arguing that a hobbyist shouldn't be admitted over a candidate who would see the PhD as a job. Do you think that a candidate who sees the PhD as a job is going to be easier competition for your internal funding or whatever else than a hobbyist?


    I.. wouldn't care? As long as the person knows what they're doing and is easy to work with, I don't care what their motivation is. That's their private business. And like I said, I see no reason why the quality of scholarship should be impacted by lack of desire to turn scholarship into a paid job. There's certainly more than enough examples of terrible scholars who want a job in academia.
    I think this is sour grapes. Like, if you're not fully committed to battling against impossible odds in obtaining TT, you can't sit with us. Your attitude is functionally no different to the attitude of some quasi-emeritus who looks down on people for having an alt-ac plan B. And your attitude is your private business, except I don't understand why you align yourself with a view that is expressly counter to stated beliefs and even interests. If you are a "serious scholar", more people getting your degree for fun is better for you in every possible way. These people represent a more (or should I say, de facto) sustainable source of demand for the training that you want to be paid for to provide, yet they at the same time are not part of your competition for those professional positions. The age of people getting generic humanities degrees to be more employable is over - so I think catering to people who get your degree for personal growth purposes only is in your field's future. And moreover, perhaps they'll be able to inject perspectives into the profession that people who are desperate for history jobs are disinclined to express even if they hold them. It may be uncomfortable to view your field as something people enter for fun, but why the hell not?
  23. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from WhoaThereWombat in MPA or MPP for Journalism.   
    bro, this OP is from 2012...
  24. Like
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from kreitz128 in MPA or MPP for Journalism.   
    bro, this OP is from 2012...
  25. Upvote
    ExponentialDecay got a reaction from Dwar in I have been unemployed since graduating last December. Do I stand any chance at getting into an MPA/MPP program?   
    [quote] will having no work experience for nearly a year likely disqualify me from most reputable MPA/MPP programs?[/quote]
    No. Programs will be lenient, most of all, because academia is facing some very lean years and professional grad schools in particular are struggling to attract and retain enough students to stay open. If you're a legal person and you're willing to hand them money, they'll take you.
    That said, all the discourse about being cautious when investing in this degree applies doubly to anyone without work experience. Pandemic or no pandemic, it's going to take you time to build your CV up (unless you luck into the foreign service or consulting). The real hurdle you're facing is convincing employers to hire someone with a master's and no experience (which isn't so much about being overqualified - the job market in policy being what it is, employers can pretty much set any terms they want - as it is about convincing the employer that you can bring value). The other thing is, MPAs and their ilk aren't versatile degrees at all, so if you're going into this without holding an evidence-based conviction that you are right for this field and want to stay in it for the next decade or so, don't assume that it'll be easy for you to sell the policy degree if you decide that policy is not for you. Finally, if you will need to take on student debt, think really, really hard about whether you need this. Maybe read some of the many horror stories on this site. 
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