Need career advice

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loomstate
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Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Sun May 05, 2013 7:01 pm

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Last edited by loomstate on Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Law school - lawyer or PhD - professor? What would you do?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun May 05, 2013 7:12 pm

loomstate wrote: Credentials
A masters degree from oxbridge
Some published papers
Summa cum laude undergrad
D1 athlete

Law Credentials
Really can't break 170 LSAT, i've been studying off and on for a year now.
3.87 UGPA
HYS are my dream schools, but it looks like most likely i'm looking at T6 near sticker.

Career goals
90k+ a year salary
Having some sense that I'm doing meaningful & prestigious work
Live in SF, NYC, DC or Europe

The subject I study is in the social sciences - if I got the PhD I doubt I could gain employment outside of academia. Which option is riskier? What would you do?

If you get a PhD, especially in a social science, you will end up working where you can find a job (which will almost certainly not be SF, NYC, or DC) and you will not be making 90k+. T6 near sticker can probably get you 90K+ in NYC (probably not DC or SF).

Whether either would be meaningful and prestigious is not something I will comment on.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Law school - lawyer or PhD - professor? What would you do?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun May 05, 2013 7:24 pm

dextermorgan wrote:If you get a PhD, especially in a social science, you will end up working where you can find a job (which will almost certainly not be SF, NYC, or DC) and you will not be making 90k+.

This is absolutely, completely, utterly true. You will not get to choose where you live, or what kind of institution you work at.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Need career advice

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun May 05, 2013 7:28 pm

PhD is riskier in terms of getting a job, JD is riskier in terms of hating your career. There isn't a ton of downside risk to the PhD, assuming it's funded, but your odds of a good outcome are worse. A JD from the schools you'll get into will give you a pretty good shot at getting a "good" legal job, but the degree will cost a lot, you may hate the work, and it's pretty unlikely to be "meaningful" in the way you're probably thinking. So there's a lot of downside risk there, in the sense that you can't just cut your losses if you hate it.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun May 05, 2013 7:31 pm

With a PhD, you will have to follow the jerbs. Even if this means working in an obscure city.

a JD allows more flexibility, all things considered.

I've been thinking about this too, and the rule of thumb is to look at employment placements of each PhD program you're interested in. This is probably the most important thing. Other things that matter are the faculty of your program, stipends, and average time people graduate from that program. HTH.

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loomstate
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Re: Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Sun May 05, 2013 7:40 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:With a PhD, you will have to follow the jerbs. Even if this means working in an obscure city.

a JD allows more flexibility, all things considered.

I've been thinking about this too, and the rule of thumb is to look at employment placements of each PhD program you're interested in. This is probably the most important thing. Other things that matter are the faculty of your program, stipends, and average time people graduate from that program. HTH.


thanks for the response. it seems like employment statics are more opaque than for law schools. for instance http://polisci.berkeley.edu/grad/placem ... nthistory/ we still dont know percentage employed and at what salary etc.. do you know of any other resources for this info?

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Sun May 05, 2013 7:54 pm

loomstate wrote:Career goals
90k+ a year salary
Having some sense that I'm doing meaningful & prestigious work
Live in SF, NYC, DC or Europe

Why does the bolded matter?

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loomstate
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Re: Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Sun May 05, 2013 8:25 pm

Ghost93 wrote:Why does the bolded matter?


easier to get up in the morning, gives me a sense of meaning

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun May 05, 2013 9:19 pm

loomstate wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:With a PhD, you will have to follow the jerbs. Even if this means working in an obscure city.

a JD allows more flexibility, all things considered.

I've been thinking about this too, and the rule of thumb is to look at employment placements of each PhD program you're interested in. This is probably the most important thing. Other things that matter are the faculty of your program, stipends, and average time people graduate from that program. HTH.


thanks for the response. it seems like employment statics are more opaque than for law schools. for instance http://polisci.berkeley.edu/grad/placem ... nthistory/ we still dont know percentage employed and at what salary etc.. do you know of any other resources for this info?



IDK where to find the percentage employed, but for salary, what I do is look at the institution the PhD got hired and look up what the average starting salary is for an assistant professorship at that school (assuming they got tenure-track). That's how i go about finding the salary.

But, IMO, i think being a professor at some small private university would be a better life than working big law.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Sun May 05, 2013 9:34 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun May 05, 2013 10:32 pm

Assistant Poli Sci Profs make around $50-70k.
Associate Poli Sci Profs make around $60-90k.
Full Professor Poli Sci Profs make around $100-130k (or more if you're a star).

You should aim for a 170+ on the LSAT, go HYS PhD/JD, go Law Faculty.

You just need to accept that you're not going to be able to live in NYC/SF/DC/LA if you go into academia. If you value geography more, then have fun in biglaw.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Need career advice

Postby jbagelboy » Sun May 05, 2013 11:18 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Assistant Poli Sci Profs make around $50-70k.
Associate Poli Sci Profs make around $60-90k.
Full Professor Poli Sci Profs make around $100-130k (or more if you're a star).

You should aim for a 170+ on the LSAT, go HYS PhD/JD, go Law Faculty.

You just need to accept that you're not going to be able to live in NYC/SF/DC/LA if you go into academia. If you value geography more, then have fun in biglaw.


Not sure law students/applicants should be giving such concrete advice about non-legal academia -- you or me.

First, I agree with you that the LOW end is very low. For non-tenured profs, sometimes as low as $40,000 starting. This is depressing.

These figures for associate and full professorships vary extremely though depending on the type of institution. An average full polisci prof at a small university or mediocre public might make $110K, but at Princeton more like $200,000, with the associate making $100K+. There's a history prof at my UG (elite private) making over $250K. Also, chaired professorships (after full) are often a tens of thousands of dollars higher than normal full profs. Since the majority of law professors are chaired professorships, this justifies to the university in part their higher salaries.

Also, why political science? If you want to make money in academic, Economics is the way to go. Econ profs (who double as finance profs) at my college and sister colleges made $250K-$300K, with a few over $350,000 (these guys were pulled directly off Ibanks so they had to be compelling offers). I can PM you the salary data if you are incredulous.

On a more personal note, my mother is a university professor in humanities. At UCI, my she made around $100-110K as a full prof (polisci would probably be more). She makes about ~25% less than her male counterparts due to gender income discrimination, so the men in her department were making around $130K. At Dartmouth she makes $170K.

as for job security, even you go to a top 10 law school its still way more secure than getting a tenured professorship in anything. another reason I'm going to law school and not a Ph.D ~

El Principe
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Re: Need career advice

Postby El Principe » Sun May 05, 2013 11:26 pm

PhD would probably be one of the few things I'd advise law school ahead of for someone who's looking for a safer bet. Tenure positions are hard to come by and PhD programs are longer by at least one year.

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boblawlob
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Re: Need career advice

Postby boblawlob » Sun May 05, 2013 11:45 pm

Why don't you try to get some job in policy right now? Apply at some think tank or something.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Need career advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun May 05, 2013 11:56 pm

loomstate wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:With a PhD, you will have to follow the jerbs. Even if this means working in an obscure city.

a JD allows more flexibility, all things considered.

I've been thinking about this too, and the rule of thumb is to look at employment placements of each PhD program you're interested in. This is probably the most important thing. Other things that matter are the faculty of your program, stipends, and average time people graduate from that program. HTH.


thanks for the response. it seems like employment statics are more opaque than for law schools. for instance http://polisci.berkeley.edu/grad/placem ... nthistory/ we still dont know percentage employed and at what salary etc.. do you know of any other resources for this info?

Employment statistics for Ph.D. programs are entirely opaque. Departments are terrible about keeping track or making this information available. (Anyone who applies to Ph.D. programs: ask for this information, you may get some, but it's really hard to find.) It's probably because the numbers that are out there suggest that 1 in 4 humanities grad students end up in a tenure-track job.

Jobs at elite universities do pay more (and if you're in NYC/DC/the like, yes, the salaries are generally higher to address COL). But there are WAY more non-elite universities than there are elite ones. Good luck getting a job at Princeton or Dartmouth or the elite private undergrads.

Econ profs do make more (as do CS profs), precisely because they have high-paying non-academic alternatives. Same reason why law profs make more money than the humanities. But we don't know what field OP is looking at (since s/he already has a master's it's not like s/he's choosing between fields at this point).

And actually, a lot of people who get PhDs and even make it into academia end up hating their jobs - because, although maybe to a lesser degree than in law school, getting your PhD isn't usually very much like being a professor.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun May 05, 2013 11:58 pm

Only get a PhD if you are committed:
1. to making political science your lifestyle;
2. to spending some years as a T.A;
3. to being satisfied with the fact that you will most likely publish obscure articles in obscure journals that no one will ever read.

If you meet the above requirements, I think you should go for it. I'f i were you, i'd go to University of MIchigan since Ann Arbor is a great city, the PhD program there is T6 (excellent job placement), and they are known for giving generous stipends.

Work at a small private university, send your kids there for free, PROFIT.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon May 06, 2013 12:08 am

boblawlob wrote:Why don't you try to get some job in policy right now? Apply at some think tank or something.


This is bad advice. There are no jerbs in policy right now. If there are, they are mediocre jerbs with crap pay.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Need career advice

Postby dextermorgan » Mon May 06, 2013 12:22 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
loomstate wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:With a PhD, you will have to follow the jerbs. Even if this means working in an obscure city.

a JD allows more flexibility, all things considered.

I've been thinking about this too, and the rule of thumb is to look at employment placements of each PhD program you're interested in. This is probably the most important thing. Other things that matter are the faculty of your program, stipends, and average time people graduate from that program. HTH.


thanks for the response. it seems like employment statics are more opaque than for law schools. for instance http://polisci.berkeley.edu/grad/placem ... nthistory/ we still dont know percentage employed and at what salary etc.. do you know of any other resources for this info?

Employment statistics for Ph.D. programs are entirely opaque. Departments are terrible about keeping track or making this information available. (Anyone who applies to Ph.D. programs: ask for this information, you may get some, but it's really hard to find.) It's probably because the numbers that are out there suggest that 1 in 4 humanities grad students end up in a tenure-track job.

Jobs at elite universities do pay more (and if you're in NYC/DC/the like, yes, the salaries are generally higher to address COL). But there are WAY more non-elite universities than there are elite ones. Good luck getting a job at Princeton or Dartmouth or the elite private undergrads.

Econ profs do make more (as do CS profs), precisely because they have high-paying non-academic alternatives. Same reason why law profs make more money than the humanities. But we don't know what field OP is looking at (since s/he already has a master's it's not like s/he's choosing between fields at this point).

And actually, a lot of people who get PhDs and even make it into academia end up hating their jobs - because, although maybe to a lesser degree than in law school, getting your PhD isn't usually very much like being a professor.

Without getting into the passion requirement of a PhD/academic lifestyle, someone with a Masters in Poli Sci is ill equipped to be admitted (let alone finish) a decent Econ program.

OP: when I was looking at PhD programs, I found http://www.phds.org to have a lot of information (although I don't know how reliable it is).

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boblawlob
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Re: Need career advice

Postby boblawlob » Mon May 06, 2013 12:28 am

Dr. Dre wrote:
boblawlob wrote:Why don't you try to get some job in policy right now? Apply at some think tank or something.


This is bad advice. There are no jerbs in policy right now. If there are, they are mediocre jerbs with crap pay.

I'm not going to pretend that I know whether or not there are jobs in policy. But neither do you too, Dr. Dre.

I'm just throwing out ideas for OP and it's up to him to look up such jobs and see if they match what he wants in the short term.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Need career advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 06, 2013 12:31 am

dextermorgan wrote:Without getting into the passion requirement of a PhD/academic lifestyle, someone with a Masters in Poli Sci is ill equipped to be admitted (let alone finish) a decent Econ program.

Oh, I completely agree - I was responding to someone who said, "If you're going to do social sciences, don't do poli sci, do econ because it pays better" (although I think the OP did make it clear they're doing polisci, which I missed).

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Need career advice

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon May 06, 2013 12:32 am

boblawlob wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:
boblawlob wrote:Why don't you try to get some job in policy right now? Apply at some think tank or something.


This is bad advice. There are no jerbs in policy right now. If there are, they are mediocre jerbs with crap pay.

I'm not going to pretend that I know whether or not there are jobs in policy. But neither do you too, Dr. Dre.

I'm just throwing out ideas for OP and it's up to him to look up such jobs and see if they match what he wants in the short term.


you PRESUME that i don't know. and your presumption is false.



Image

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dextermorgan
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Re: Need career advice

Postby dextermorgan » Mon May 06, 2013 12:38 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:Without getting into the passion requirement of a PhD/academic lifestyle, someone with a Masters in Poli Sci is ill equipped to be admitted (let alone finish) a decent Econ program.

Oh, I completely agree - I was responding to someone who said, "If you're going to do social sciences, don't do poli sci, do econ because it pays better" (although I think the OP did make it clear they're doing polisci, which I missed).

That's pretty much what I was responding to. Someone doesn't just randomly decide to get a PhD in a new field. :lol:

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loomstate
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Re: Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Mon May 06, 2013 7:25 am

dextermorgan wrote:That's pretty much what I was responding to. Someone doesn't just randomly decide to get a PhD in a new field. :lol:


+1

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loomstate
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Re: Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Mon May 06, 2013 7:27 am

You should aim for a 170+ on the LSAT, go HYS PhD/JD, go Law Faculty.


this is probably the best advice i think. if i didn't get accepted to the JD or PhD program the other is kind of a backup plan. do students at T6 schools with PhD/JD do well in getting law faculty jobs?

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loomstate
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Re: Need career advice

Postby loomstate » Mon May 06, 2013 7:40 am

ajax adonis wrote:What kind of UG did you go to?



not sure if this matters, but small liberal arts




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