[Parentsgroup-list] Mama, PhD blog in Inside Higher Ed

wenc at fas.harvard.edu wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Wed May 7 12:42:59 EDT 2008

A new blog of interest to graduate students and PhDs who have children.  Some of
the writers are professors, others are freelance writers working from home.

ABCs and PhDs
This is the first posting from Susan Bassow, Dana Campbell, and Liz Stockwell.
We are three biology PhDs who deviated from an academic track to care for our
children full-time. We'll take turns posting or sometimes write together.


The Career Counselor Is In: Advice From 'The Other Side'
By Megan Pincus Kajitani
Editor's Note: Megan Pincus Kajitani will be answering your career transition
questions here each Monday. Read on, and send your questions to
mamaphd at insidehighered.com

I struck up a conversation recently with a woman who works as a consultant at
my hair salon and it turns out she has a Ph.D. in psychology. I drove by a van a
few months ago with the logo Ph.D. Plumbing. And I read a great health article
in a magazine last week, where in the writer's bio she calls herself a Ph.D.
dropout (she has a Master's in biology).

Now, many academics may think, "Gasp! How awful for these poor people!"
But, I see a very different picture. I see individuals who were on the academic
path and changed course. Not a judgment, just a fact.

And since roughly 50% of people who start doctoral programs finish them, and an
only slightly larger percentage of Ph.D.'s become tenured professors, there
are actually more former doctoral students on "the other side" of
traditional academia than there are still in it. Contrary to some misguided
beliefs, by the way, almost all of us who exit do so not because we aren't
doing well enough, but because we just realize we want to do something
different (thanks to Barbara Lovitts for doing the research that backs this up).

People change course in their careers all the time. In fact, labor statistics
show that Americans today change careers on average around three times in their
working lives (and jobs 10.5 times). . .

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