Challenges Ph.D. candidates face in the job market when they start families before their career is strong enough. Tim and Karen are two Ph.D. candidates discussed in this case.
To begin with, The Dean of Art and Science claims that Tim and Karen are fools to marry. He supports his argument by asking them if they know how academic job market is and how lucky they are to get one permanent job. Tim and Karen are two Ph.D. candidates. They didn’t heed for the dean’s warning. Tim has finished his work except his dissertation and Karen is ready to begin her dissertation research. The two new couples expected to get a tenure-track job position at the same place in their career of teaching economics. To their surprise,Tim landed a position in New York while Karen landed a position at the prestigious Midwest university.
Tim and Karen accept that their jobs were quite hard because of commuting daily. They both didn’t make to finish their dissertation in their first year. Karen says that she didn’t want to put her career on hold for Tim because of traditional methods of favoring male’s career more than women’s. After three years,Tim quit his job and got a new position at Midwest,as a policy analyst in a government agency. At the same time,Karen realized she was pregnant although she had wanted a child but the pregnancy could affect her career. During her trimester of her pregnancy, she was informed that her contract would not be renewed next year. Her efforts to try to stop the tenure clock bore no fruits because policies of helping assistant professors when they had a baby were ignored. Karen didn’t sue the Midwest university because she didn’t have emotional energy to do so and she doubted her dedication to her career.
After her baby was six months old,Karen accepted a part time temporary position at the state government. Meanwhile, Tim didn’t get his writing job done because of sharing care of their infant daughter.Furthermore,his office didn’t recognize the demands of having a new baby. As a result, he found himself open to another change in career goals as a couple. According to Karen, her university is much better in handling cases like hers and also in terms of exposure than Midwest University. Karen decided to apply for a job at Liberal Art collage. She secured a position as a second year at Worth Collage and Tim was very supportive of her ideas. Karen’s career at the Worth Collage was doing well. The couples feel very fortunate. It took Tim a year to finish his dissertation. As Karen was due to go for her assistant professor leave,Tim got a great job as a research fellow at the Economics Institute, a private think tank. Karen was thinking of getting pregnant again but this thought really disturbed her a lot because of her previous experiences at the Midwest University.Challenges Ph.D. candidates face in the job market
In conclusion, it is not easy to make decisions on when to get a child or get married in the teaching profession. It is essential to still have a family life as a professor despite how hard it is. Having a supportive spouse helps one’s career.