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About area studies vs. history

Previous Entry area studies vs. history Mar. 22nd, 2010 @ 11:21 am Next Entry
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Date:March 23rd, 2010 09:06 pm (UTC)

Re: midwest85:

They're different, but the degree to which they are different, and to some extent the ways that they are different, is dependent on your reasons for getting the degree.

You're going to get different things out of a program if you're there to get a career, or to do it for the love of learning, or to advance a career you've already begun. Different circumstances bring us to have different experiences.

You said different things-- that you're interested in getting the degree simply out of a desire to be a life-long student, and then you said that you wanted to get a tenure-track position. Different goals. And if you were doing it to advance yourself as, say, a subject reference librarian, that'd be a different goal as well. With different goals, we approach things differently, and get different results. The fact that you're not clear on your goals makes me want to encourage you to think about it a bit more before applying. This is a major undertaking, a commitment.

As for what you feel is helpful or unhelpful, I'm under no obligation to be either, so I don't really care what you think is what. Personally, I think that lightheartedly saying "Don't do it" is EXTREMELY valuable feedback. Especially since I did frame it in terms of a craptastic job market.

Edited at 2010-03-23 09:07 pm (UTC)
Date:March 23rd, 2010 09:27 pm (UTC)

last comment from mw85

people have different ideas and goals. what i might want to do now might change over the course of my study. who knows. and yes, you should be "determined" when you apply for a phd program, but guess what, things always change. and im mindful of that.

and maybe you should start considering a change in your academic career if you are so focused on this craptastic job market. it's obviously making you bitter about it.

im not in the same situation as you. if you don't care whether your opinions are helpful or not, please stop posting comments that aren't helpful. Maybe you should stop wasting time on livejournal and start being productive and optimistic about your career; otherwise, maybe it's you who should consider a career in plumbing.
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Date:March 24th, 2010 12:25 pm (UTC)

Re: last comment from mw85

I'm not "bitter." But I have actually looked at the numbers and been watching job listings for the last six years.

I'm optimistic about my career. Doesn't mean I need to be optimistic about the job market in general, or your or any other individual's prospects on the market.

Since I don't know anything about you or your skills, I'm forced to assume you're a perfectly average potential PhD candidate. Which means that, statistically speaking, your chances of ever landing a tenure-track position are significantly less than 50%. It's worse than a coin toss, optimistic or not.
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