Money magazine released its list of "Best Jobs in America" last week. Number 2 on the list was "College Professor." I wholeheartedly agree that it would be a wonderful career, but it is a tad misrepresented in the method used to rate it.
- It includes teaching assistants and college presidents in the same category.
- Money gives Professing a stress grade of B. Aside from getting tenure, it notes that it is a relatively stress free job. Name me a male professor that isn't losing his hair or gone prematurely gray, or any prof. that doesn't have ulcers or has been in some sort of therapy. (Just wait Colin, that full head of hair of yours is doomed. Doomed, I say!)
- The average salary is around $80,000. If you average how much UM president Mary Sue Coleman makes with the $8,000 I made at UM as a GSI (or the $2,500 I made at Butler) then I guess this makes sense. But I know profs at small liberal arts colleges that are fortunate to make this much after thirty years. It also does not take into account how much money is invested in the education to get the job. In the CNNMoney article "Big Jobs that Pay Badly," college professors (liberal arts and research scientiests) are used as some of the prime examples.
- The average annual job openings are 95,000 and a 10-year growth rate of 31%. Compare this to Pharmacy (ranked #9) that has 10,000 annual openings and a 10-year growth rate of 25%. What this doesn't say is how many people out there are applying for these jobs. It also mentions that things are really good for "private sector" fields in teaching, like business and health science. I guess I look at it this way. If I had finished my PhD, I would have been very lucky to find a job. I would not be able to be picky about it. If Kate (a pharmacist) decides tomorrow that she wants to work somewhere else, she would probably have at least ten offers within a week. A large portion of those 95,000 are also probably unstable adjunct positions that open up every year. Something about Money's numbers are just not right.
Okay, that is enough ranting for now.