By Jeffrey Cicurel
Post doctoral students and professors are feeling increasingly stressed about their respective fields, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported Oct. 24. This stress has much to do with the difficulty of securing tenure in a weak job market, exacerbated by graduate programs taking more graduate students than there are jobs. Some at Duke, however, argue that those dedicated to pursuing their interests in academia should not be deterred by such factors.
Provost Peter Lange, who has been Duke’s chief academic officer since 1999, said he has trained many doctoral students, many of whom have gone on to pursue academic careers. He did not think students should shy away from pursuing their doctorates.
“Anybody who goes into a profession through some combination of a passion for the profession and different degrees of confidence can be really successful. If you’re really good, you’re still going to get a job,” Lange said. “But if you’re feeling a little more marginal, or if you’re not sure that that’s what you want to do, then obviously the quality of the job market can be a little scary.”