Yesterday we discussed the viability of the unemployed job seeker returning to school for an advanced degree. I mentioned that one’s decision should be weighed carefully. First, what is your real motivation for fo doing so. Second, how will an advanced degree serve to move your career forward?
Some time ago, I met the husband of a friend of mine at a party. He had served in the military and then had tried a number of jobs without staying long at any of them. He announced he was enrolled at the university for a doctorate in anthropology. I asked him what he hoped to do with the degree. He mentioned university teaching. I asked him how many anthropology doctorates would be awared nationally in any one year. He said 4,000. I asked him how many teaching opportunities in anthropology were avaialble in any one year. He said 100! I asked him him what he thought the odds were of him capturing a teaching position. He smiled ruefully and said, well, maybe he might consider an emerging specialization such as forensic anthropology.
I felt sorry for him. He was going to pay a great deal in time, energy and money to pursue a degree where there was great uncertainty that it would provide him with the career he wanted.