Monday, January 7, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Being a University Professor is a Stressful Job. From Forbes.Com.

Being a university professor is in no way the least stressful job for 2013. In fact, 2013 is likely to be one of the worst years to be a university professor.
But many pixels are being spent across the platform at the site of Forbes staff columnist, Susan Adams. Adams has been a legal affairs columnist at Forbes since 1995 and writes widely on leadership and careers.
I don’t know Adams but I do know that working full-time for Forbes requires one to meet a very high bar. For example, many of my readers would know Matt Herper as one of the top pharmaceutical industry journalists in North America. Similarly, Bruce Japsen, formerly of the Chicago Tribune, is one of the best writers on health care in the US.
So I was extremely surprised and, frankly, disappointed that Adams would write such a misguided article, based apparently on a report from and her perception of university faculty through one tenured professor she knows. 


  1. I'd guess the problem with this "high stress" / "low stress" discussion is all about class.

    In my nearly 30 years of teaching, I've had about a dozen of those years tenured or tenure-track. Those, I have to admit, were pretty low stress. I felt agency; I worked where I knew I was needed.

    But in my sporadic visits to the VAP / NTT / Adjunct / Part-Time world, I felt the opposite. Just the stress of lining up classes for the next term is a pain, and definitely influenced how I felt on a day to day basis.

    When someone in the mainstream media thinks "college professor," they aren't thinking adjuncts. They're thinking 2/2 loads and whatever passes as "guaranteed" employment now a days.

  2. I confess I never think of my job as stressful, but in the past several years I've had very good security.

    But our adjuncts who teach among us here definitely are up against it. It reminds me to find ways to aid them, much like Mid Career Mike did in this long ago - but very relevant - post.

  3. While I didn't completely agree with the original Forbes article, this response to it seems a bit harsh. The most notable mistake that Adams, the original author, made was to lump everybody from adjuncts to tenured professors together. Beyond, that the rating of least stressful depended on the criteria used to evaluate the jobs. Given their emphasis on safe job environment and autonomy, tenured or TT faculty do have a low stress job. Given other rubrics, the results of the survey would come out differently.

  4. Good heavens, a Forbes article that isn't as bad as their usual fantasies! Next thing you know, they'll be admitting that anthropogenic climate change is real. Naaaaaaaaaah...

  5. the writer then spoke to the headwaiter at a very exclusive restaurant down the street from her office. He likes and enjoys his job and is paid well. Therefore the author concludes that working at McDonalds is a well-paying job with little stress..