Want to share this great article about the games of rhetorical footsie regarding life after higher ed. My favo(u)rite bit reads:
Throughout the time students are in graduate school, they need to feel that their faculty members will support their choices to work in or outside of academe… “Most important is that we make clear to all students that they will enjoy their advisors’ and their departments’ unequivocal support, whether they seek to teach at college or university level, join a nonprofit agency or head off into business or government,” write Grafton and Grossman. “We teach our students to question received ideas and to criticize inherited terminologies and obsolete assumptions. It’s past time that we began applying these lessons ourselves.”
And they call on [those] in academe to stop looking down on those who build careers elsewhere. Writing of the present biases in the academy, they say that “many of our students who… take what they’ve learned in graduate school to the business world, are seen as having crossed the line from the light of humanistic inquiry into the darkness of grubby capitalism — as if the life of scholarship were somehow exempt from impure motives and bitter competition.”
A moment of self-reflection led me to investigate what the Carleton School of Canadian Studies tells interested incoming scholars. In part, the homepage reads: “The objective of the program is to produce academic teachers and researchers with specialized expertise in Canadian Studies.”
Lots of people leave our program and go on to happy, fulfilling placements as parents, with the federal government, with various think tanks, and / or at museums (or some combination thereof!).
As I’ve said before, it’s wise to think outside of the box (or ivory tower, or whatever)! The world is your oyster! Go forth and conquer! See new sights! Meet new people! Think new thoughts! (Even if this is not officially sanctioned by established practices in the industry of scientific inquiry.) Fight the good fight! Etcetera.