Which Graduate Program Should He Choose?


Rock writes:
I really liked your article
about considering graduate school
. I have made up my mind that this is definitely the
right career choice for me. I have been working for a while in social services but have
not been able to make the kind of money I need to have a secure future. I am thinking
about going forward to get a PhD in English literature. I am waffling because I really want
to pick a solid program that will offer a competitive degree in the area of social services
or education. I don’t want to go all the way to get my PhD in English only to not find a job
because the jobs are too scarce. Do you have any suggestions about good graduate degrees that will allow me to find a relatively lucrative job without having to relocate to
some obscure corner of the country or settle for something low paying that doesn’t
allow me to pay my high student loans off?


The Career Doctor responds:
Well while I am not sure what your definition of a lucrative job is I can tell you
a shortages of folks with Ph.D.s is predicted in quite a number of
disciplines as a massive wave of baby-boom (and older) professors begin
retiring. In fact I do not know how some schools are going to be able to afford
to replace all these professors because starting salaries have escalated over
the last decade or so.
So overall there should certainly be a demand for new Ph.D.s — especially for
those who want to teach at the college level. And that demand will be
nationwide not just in remote places.
Since you appear to kind of have two passions — social work and English — I would
suggest conducting some research in both areas. Network with former professors
(or make some new network contacts at potential graduate programs) and discuss
the marketplace.
I will tell you that teaching is much more rewarding than the salary you receive.
The ability to make a significant contribution to the future of society to have an
impact on the minds and lives of people and to empower them to achieve their
own success — these are amazing perks for folks who teach.
Find more grad school tools and resources in this section of Quintessential Careers: Graduate School Resources.