Professional development and long-term career planning are no longer optional activities for graduate students in the humanities. Because of a fiercely competitive job market (only one in three Ph.D.s will earn a tenure-track position), college and university officials see few reasons to hire new Ph.D.s unless such persons are able to demonstrate significant publication, research, and teaching records. In light of this fact, we might reasonably ask whether graduate education has changed significantly enough over the past quarter-century to accommodate our graduate students’ professional and practical needs. Since an already bad job market has managed to worsen in a relatively short period of time, and since an entire pre-Boomer generation of university professors hangs on the verge of retirement, we should probably confront one of the more troubling and undeniable paradoxes of twenty-first-century graduate education: that MAs and Ph.D.s who must publish, attend conferences, and teach upper-level courses are regularly taught by professors who did none of these things as graduate students and, in some cases, even as assistant professors. While most graduate faculty members surely understand the serious problems facing their students today, there remains a major gap between the lip service often paid to addressing the problems and the implementation of real-world policies and practices designed to alleviate them.
KeywordsFaculty Member Graduate Student Graduate Education Tenure Track Graduate Career
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