Barriers to entry in other professions

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cloudhidden
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Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:52 pm

Given that TLS has been such a great resource for myself and many others in determining realistic prospects coming out of law school, and given that the profession has undergone significant structural changes in which those prospects remain grim, I conceived of starting a thread for people to discuss other professions they have researched. I intend to start a discussion for those still considering law school among other routes. I assume that this thread would most likely pertain to anyone who already has or soon will complete a liberal arts degree. I believe that considering all possibilities not only helps you make the right decision, but also helps you articulate that decision, even if you still decide upon law school.

I imagine that a discussion would hinge around barriers to entry in general, and employment prospects, opportunity cost, job stability, quality of life, etc. in particular. For instance, someone might consider pursuing medical school or nursing school, in which case, they would most likely have to complete a post-baccalureate program beforehand, or they might consider becoming a professor in their chosen major, in which case they have to weigh the additional educational requirements against the likelihood of ever attaining tenure. In any regard, it is no certain fact that the legal profession has the most insurmountable barriers to entry. However, we could parse out a realistic picture of how they compare relative to other potential professions.

I appreciate TLS for its candid presentation of the realities facing young people now entering the job market. While we could all do our research elsewhere, we run the risk of relying on overly generalized and/or skewed information. With that said, what have you considered doing other than law school?


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cloudhidden
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Great link, but more for those already in law school, for those still considering going, the options are more manifold and less inhibited by debt.

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b123
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby b123 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:28 pm

I think it's worth discussion

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cloudhidden
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:40 pm

I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

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atcushman
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby atcushman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:43 pm

cloudhidden wrote:Great link, but more for those already in law school, for those still considering going, the options are more manifold and less inhibited by debt.


oh you mean like this

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=202403&hilit=plan+b

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:52 pm

cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

More like 1 in 4. Personally, I think the professorial odds are way lower than the lawyering odds. (Maybe comparable if you're talking only about biglaw; many many more of my law school class are employed in full-time law jobs than my fellow Ph.D. students are employed as full-time professors.) (History, not English, but pretty comparable.)

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cloudhidden
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:46 pm

atcushman wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:Great link, but more for those already in law school, for those still considering going, the options are more manifold and less inhibited by debt.


oh you mean like this

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... lit=plan+b


I guess it's symptomatic of the times. In any regard, having a thread in the admissions forum with links to other relevant threads serves a purpose, because many 0Ls default to here for general advice.

I'm specifically interested in the barriers to entry for furthering education and quantifying the risks.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:48 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

More like 1 in 4. Personally, I think the professorial odds are way lower than the lawyering odds. (Maybe comparable if you're talking only about biglaw; many many more of my law school class are employed in full-time law jobs than my fellow Ph.D. students are employed as full-time professors.) (History, not English, but pretty comparable.)


Paul Campos estimated the odds of having a net positive return from law school at 20 to 25%, so they are very comparable barriers to entry. Of course, the odds greatly tilt based on certain variables like LSAT score.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby bluepenguin » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

More like 1 in 4. Personally, I think the professorial odds are way lower than the lawyering odds. (Maybe comparable if you're talking only about biglaw; many many more of my law school class are employed in full-time law jobs than my fellow Ph.D. students are employed as full-time professors.) (History, not English, but pretty comparable.)


Wait, 1 in 4 chance of becoming a TT professor in the humanities? In what sample set? That number sounds right to me if you limit yourself to top 15 programs in (English/History/Philosophy). I think the number for all PhD programs would be more like <10%.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:11 pm

bluepenguin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

More like 1 in 4. Personally, I think the professorial odds are way lower than the lawyering odds. (Maybe comparable if you're talking only about biglaw; many many more of my law school class are employed in full-time law jobs than my fellow Ph.D. students are employed as full-time professors.) (History, not English, but pretty comparable.)


Wait, 1 in 4 chance of becoming a TT professor in the humanities? In what sample set? That number sounds right to me if you limit yourself to top 15 programs in (English/History/Philosophy). I think the number for all PhD programs would be more like <10%.

Yeah, I may be out of date - I finished my Ph.D. quite a while ago now, and the employment situation keeps getting worse. It may also depend on whether you're talking about people entering Ph.D. programs or people actually graduating with the Ph.D. - the attrition along the way is huge, so the percentage of people who get a TT job out of those who start a Ph.D. program is certainly ridiculously low.

As for the Paul Campos reference - the difference is that, as bluepenguin points out, even from the top-15 programs in the humanities, your shot at a TT job is (maybe) 1 in 4. If you go attend a T14 law school, your shot at a reasonable outcome has got to be more than 20-25%. (Although rankings don't really hold the same sway in the humanities as in law schools, with the possible exception of philosophy. People can ID, say, the top 25 history grad programs, but so much depends on the area you want to study and who you want to work with, it's hard really to rank programs the way USNWR ranks LSs - what work you produce is far more important than strict rankings.)

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby suralin » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:15 pm

bluepenguin wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...

More like 1 in 4. Personally, I think the professorial odds are way lower than the lawyering odds. (Maybe comparable if you're talking only about biglaw; many many more of my law school class are employed in full-time law jobs than my fellow Ph.D. students are employed as full-time professors.) (History, not English, but pretty comparable.)


Wait, 1 in 4 chance of becoming a TT professor in the humanities? In what sample set? That number sounds right to me if you limit yourself to top 15 programs in (English/History/Philosophy). I think the number for all PhD programs would be more like <10%.


This. It is ridiculously competitive to become a professor in the humanities: there are so many barriers, each of which has a small disjunctive probability of success. Plus, if a position is obtained, it's almost always at a school quite a bit lower-ranked than the school from which that person graduated; it's the natural consequence of schools accepting many more students each year than there are open positions/professors retiring, particularly since it's hard to do much else with a Ph.D. except become a professor.

ETA: As mentioned above, the rankings thing probably only applies to philosophy, as that's the field I've researched the most re: getting a Ph.D.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby banjo » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:21 pm

bluepenguin wrote:Wait, 1 in 4 chance of becoming a TT professor in the humanities? In what sample set? That number sounds right to me if you limit yourself to top 15 programs in (English/History/Philosophy). I think the number for all PhD programs would be more like <10%.


+1. As someone who spent a couple years in a strong humanities phd program, this sounds exactly right. Also keep in mind that not all TT professors ultimately receive tenure.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:36 pm

I actually often think that getting a biglaw gig, then trying to make partner at that firm, is almost exactly like getting a TT teaching job and trying to get tenure. The thing is that in law, there are lots of other kinds of jobs - maybe not always easy to get by that point, but they exist. If you have a humanities PhD, there are no other jobs (well, adjuncting... but that's usually as good for your career as doc review is in law).

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby jselson » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:42 am

FWIW, I'm leaving an English Ph.D. Program for law school in large part because the job market is so awful. The absolute BEST candidates have maybe a 1 out of 3 shot at an R1 tenure-track position, and most people will be stuck in adjunct hell or lecturing comp classes for life. And I'm at a very good program, and probably top 5 in my field. The amount of luck involved is just too much for me.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby atcushman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:53 am

cloudhidden wrote:I started reading through the other thread and its solid. But I can still see this thread specifically helping out the people who don't know what to do with their degree, might want to go to law school, but want to shop around first.

Personally, I enjoyed the hard sciences and math until taking AP classes in high school. I did much better in English and History. I graduated 3.7+ gpa in English from decent state school, but still have had a rough go at in the job market the last few years, primarily because I have spent my time underemployed at odd jobs, studying for the LSAT, and researching the profession.

I could see myself trying to become an English professor. I love to think about ideas. However, a tenure track professor has become increasingly difficult. I would estimate, without doing much research yet, the odds at about 1 in 3 (roughly the same as the general odds in making law school work out). I have also thought about brushing up on the hard sciences and taking a crack at med school, but I know that's not what I'm best at. Nursing school might be an option though. With some specialized training or knowledge, technical writing could make do. I have even thought about aviation school, but very competitive/ saturated industry. Then there's finding a low level position somewhere such as retail and just working your way up the pipeline. The list goes on...


Y do u want to be a lawyer...cus this just screams DONT GO

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:07 pm

For the analytical thinking, reading and writing aspects... But that's part of the reason why I'm asking what else?

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:35 pm

Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:01 pm

cloudhidden wrote:Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.


I don't think that's not as easy as you might think. Also, job security for teachers is pretty shitty, particularly if you teach for public schools (see budget cuts).

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:14 pm

cloudhidden wrote:Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.

I think it does depend a lot on where you are. I have seen a lot of people say that there are parts of the country where it's really hard to get a teaching job these days. For public schools, you also usually have to get certified to teach, which requires more education. (A friend of mine who has a PhD in history and teaches history full-time at a community college looked into certification, and it turns out the state would require her to take American History 101 because she never actually took it as an undergrad - even though she now teaches that class.)

Also, in a lot of places, secondary teachers can't get certified to teach "history" - you have to get certified to teach social studies, which requires taking courses in all the various social sciences.

Private schools can be a really good teaching gig, but for English and history, it's really hard to get those positions coming out of college - I know people with PhDs in those fields who have a hard time breaking into it, if you don't already have teaching experience.

(Sorry to be so negative...)

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:18 pm

Suralin wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.


I don't think that's not as easy as you might think. Also, job security for teachers is pretty shitty, particularly if you teach for public schools (see budget cuts).


What do you mean by not as easy? The barriers to entry or the prospects? If you have your degree in the area you want to teach you can just go back for a year or so, depending on the state to pick up the required education courses. Of course job prospects vary by state, but I don't see this option as any less viable than dropping boatloads of money to go to law school to have less than a coin flip chance at having it work out. These baby boomers have to retire, and its not like schools can drop their english or history departments like they can for art.

I'm not assuming that its a formality by any means, but for a single person willing to relocate where demand exists, it might have good odds.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:29 pm

cloudhidden wrote:
Suralin wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.


I don't think that's not as easy as you might think. Also, job security for teachers is pretty shitty, particularly if you teach for public schools (see budget cuts).


What do you mean by not as easy? The barriers to entry or the prospects? If you have your degree in the area you want to teach you can just go back for a year or so, depending on the state to pick up the required education courses. Of course job prospects vary by state, but I don't see this option as any less viable than dropping boatloads of money to go to law school to have less than a coin flip chance at having it work out. These baby boomers have to retire, and its not like schools can drop their english or history departments like they can for art.

I'm not assuming that its a formality by any means, but for a single person willing to relocate where demand exists, it might have good odds.


I just meant that there's a lot of people looking to teaching as a sort of back-up plan and there aren't that many available positions. But agreed that the odds compare favorably to going to most law schools.

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Re: Barriers to entry in other professions

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:01 pm

Suralin wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:
Suralin wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:Anyone seriously considering just teaching their chosen major (History/English) at the secondary level? I know it's not the most prestigious profession or best paying, but you avoid eye-popping debt and (depending upon the region) have much better job security. 40k a year isn't bad if you did your undergrad on the cheap.


I don't think that's not as easy as you might think. Also, job security for teachers is pretty shitty, particularly if you teach for public schools (see budget cuts).


What do you mean by not as easy? The barriers to entry or the prospects? If you have your degree in the area you want to teach you can just go back for a year or so, depending on the state to pick up the required education courses. Of course job prospects vary by state, but I don't see this option as any less viable than dropping boatloads of money to go to law school to have less than a coin flip chance at having it work out. These baby boomers have to retire, and its not like schools can drop their english or history departments like they can for art.

I'm not assuming that its a formality by any means, but for a single person willing to relocate where demand exists, it might have good odds.


I just meant that there's a lot of people looking to teaching as a sort of back-up plan and there aren't that many available positions. But agreed that the odds compare favorably to going to most law schools.


I get you. I'm just over the 0L neurosis/ baby boomer polemic about how nothing will ever work out.

In the parts of the country with a lot of Spanish speakers, ESL teachers will become particularly valuable in the foreseeable future. I have been thinking about trying to teach English overseas this year. There again you have an evolving situation where English language skills need taught to large demographics. I grant that its sort of a makeshift existence, but it can provide perspective about one's desire to continue teaching while building some experience. At least it's something.

And then it can all get figured out afterward.




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