New Ph.D.’s in Archaeology and Anthropology: A Disturbing Trend

The overall economy is still bad but slowly improving here in the United States, albeit more in some economic sectors than in others.  In addition, the federal government is putting increased pressure on colleges and universities to accommodate parents and students by limiting tuition cost increases, which in turn limits the number of annual dollars available to fund new faculty members, staff members, the physical plant, and various other aspects of higher education.  With these thoughts in mind, the Archaeology in Tennessee blog would like to call your attention to a very disturbing video presentation about folks with new Ph.D. degrees and their current prospects for finding tenure-track employment doing teaching and research at American colleges and universities.  This video piece was first aired tonight on the PBS News Hour:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/is-academia-suffering-adjunctivitis/

The part about being buried in a cardboard box seemed to be especially morbid and disturbing.

At various on-line locations over the past year, assorted pundits in the field of career planning, development, and recruiting have painted anthropology and archaeology as fields of study for college freshmen to avoid like the plague if they ever hope to find a job after graduation.  Admittedly, some of this punditry was overplayed, and it conveniently ignored the need for a graduate degree, as well as certain sets of statistics suggesting that overall job prospects in out years are not really all that bad when you consider these fields as a whole.

What are your opinions about the contents of the above video, and is the trend discussed in this video likely to have any effect on you personally?  If so, how do you plan to cope?  If you are a new Ph. D. in anthropology or archaeology and your Plan A is a tenure track position at a college or university, do you have a strategic Plan B in mind to avoid the disasters set forth in the video?  Click on the “Leave a Reply” button at the top of this post and let us know.

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