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David Walsh
Random thought of the morning re: the academic jobs crisis in the humanities: A lot of older academics will point to the 1970s or the 1990s to say that crisis has always been the default, and there's truth to this. But they didn't have the same debt loads back then.
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
Average undergraduate debt was $8,200 in 1991--around $15,000 today, adjusted for inflation.
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
The average household with student debt owes almost $48,000 today.
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
This is very much the hidden struggle among young academics. It's one that is rarely discussed publicly. But there are a *lot* of us out there who are carrying tens of thousands of dollars in student debt to have gotten this far.
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
Many young PhDs need jobs that pay a good wage in order to pay off debt. It's the same as lawyers and doctors at this point. Tenured faculty need to understand this.
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Rosemarie Zagarri May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
You forget that older academics in the Humanities went to grad school before the days of the fully-funded PHD. We incurred substantial amounts of debt and had very poor job prospects. It was not then and is not now a rational economic decision. You do it for other reasons.
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David Walsh May 6
Replying to @rzhist
That’s fair, but I think that the overall grimmer economic situation Millennials are facing generally needs to be part of the conversation. Plus, although I’ve obviously been very fortunate at Princeton with generous funding, that is still very much the exception, not the rule.
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Sergio May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
After preparing for the past 3 years of undergrad to go to grad school in classics, I made the decision at the end of this semester to look for a different career path. I feel a little weird and rudderless now, but i could only delude myself about the #’s for so long. Solidarity
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Dr. Kate Dorsch May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
So true. My debt is the reason I repeatedly think about bailing on the academic job market altogether. I don't know how I can keep playing roulette while my loans sit in deferment, continuing to rack up more and more interest.
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Dr. Kate Dorsch May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
The debt I incurred acquiring the education needed to have the career I wanted will keep me from having the career I acquired it all for.
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Spencer Riehl May 6
Replying to @HPSKate
Solution to this seems obvious. Be richer. Gosh, can't believe you haven't thought of that! 😫
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Dr. Kate Dorsch May 6
Replying to @SpencerRiehl
Gosh, right!? My stupid self forgot to be born into generational wealth!
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Matt Maggio May 6
Replying to @DavidAstinWalsh
Colleges in the 1970s also hired people as actual professors - not as nil-wage "adjuncts." In the 1970s, colleges shunned part-time faculty for accreditation reasons. MY FATHER THEN WAS A PROF.
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