Pursuing a PhD

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non sequitur

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Pursuing a PhD

Postby non sequitur » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:19 pm

I have an extreme aversion to working in shitlaw, and it's looking like I'll strike out at OCI. If I am only going to make 40k/year, I'd rather be a professor at a university or community college (or even a teacher in HS). So I am seriously contemplating getting a PhD in history or political science after I graduate from law school. Any thoughts on this? Would a position in a public university qualify for the federal loan forgiveness program? Could I get loan deferments while in a PhD program? I would love to entertain the notion of being a law professor, but while I am on LR and near the top of the class, my school has a low pedigree and thus that is essentially out.


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Re: Pursuing a PhD

Postby kahechsof » Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:22 pm

I'd try getting that teaching job without the PHD first.
Try law school- it's worth trying. Concentrate on getting yourself published a few times.
High Schools would likely hire you without a PHD. Teach civics or something.
I dunno nothing about colleges but try it.


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Re: Pursuing a PhD

Postby lalala21 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:04 pm

Yeah I would say small liberal arts colleges sometimes go for people with a law degree.

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Re: Pursuing a PhD

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:55 pm

The non-legal academic market is worse than the legal market.

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Re: Pursuing a PhD

Postby Lisi » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:08 pm

From what I have seen (coming from academia and reading TLS), the academic market is just as competitive - if not more so - than the legal market. People with PhDs are definitely not guarenteed jobs - even in community colleges. While you could most likely find a job as an adjunct, the adjunct position makes it very hard to move up b/c you spend so much time teaching rather than working on your research, and b/c you make very little money and generally don't receive benefits, which is all very stressful. I know people with Ivy League PhDs in various subjects in the humanities that do not have jobs. Do not be fooled into thinking that landing a liberal arts college job is easy. These jobs are also very competitive. The basic problem is that there is little to no movement in the higher education and a bottleneck of qualified candidates from the past couple of years when there were virtually no jobs to be had. I'm sure one can say this about many fields, but keep in mind that academia is a much smaller field, people don't tend to retire early since their jobs at that point are quite cushy, and graduate schools accept far too many PhD students than they can place in academic jobs.

That said, you could probably defer loan payment while in school. Additionally, you will have a fellowship at a PhD program with a living stipend (provided you go to a good program). You will be living on about 20-25k a year and some subsidies for things like housing in more expensive cities. If you don't get into a fully funded PhD program that gives you two years off from teaching/TAing commitments (masters year and dissertation writing year), don't go. If you want to teach HS, get a masters, not a PhD. Finally, if you get into a PhD program that is fully funded, you can leave after you complete the masters part. I know people that have done this b/c they realized the PhD wasn't for them - at least they got a free masters out of it.

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