Academic common room
Tell me what you like about academia right now
openwaterswimming · 23/07/2021 11:56
Just that really.
I'm soul-searching about an opportunity I have to possibly return to academia from a well-paid, secure but not particularly thrilling industry job.
If it's relevant I'm in social sciences, so not medical/tech/engineering.
memberofthewedding · 23/07/2021 12:25
I had a (second) career in academia social sciences in the 1990s/early 2000s.
What I enjoyed about it was writing and researching, the opportunity to work at home, and conferences and traveling. I went to conferences all over Europe and spent a year in the USA as a visiting professor on an exchange with my uni. Academia in the USA is a lot more intense but it was a glimpse of an entirely different and very glitzy lifestyle. The prof I lodged with was into fundraising for a major charity and hired me as a motivational speaker. That led to other opportunities and I could probably have stayed on in the USA and made a career out of it.
However I think it would be a great deal more difficult now as tenured places have more or less disappeared and it is just a series of 2/3 year contracts, if you are lucky. I would hesitate to give up a well paid job to return to academia.
openwaterswimming · 23/07/2021 14:59
Thank you. Yes, and considering I'd imagine all the freedom of overseas travel/conferences etc has largely diminished post-Covid. Also I have young children so I'm limited in that respect. Thanks again
AlwaysColdHands · 23/07/2021 19:02
Depends on your current job’s working arrangements, but in some ways academia works well with young children due to flexibility. In other ways, not. (See thread in academic common room called Balancing toddler and career!)
damekindness · 24/07/2021 08:20
Academia used to provide flexibility but mostly at the moment it's flexibility to work days/evenings/weekends to stay on top of a mushrooming workload and then trying to find time to think and read. Given the signals from the government about their preferred direction for HE I feel very gloomy about the future
GCAcademic · 24/07/2021 10:44
Completely agree with this. No way would I leave a secure, well-paid job to enter academia at the moment.
MedSchoolRat · 25/07/2021 21:28
"Social sciences" is such a broad umbrella, I wish people would be more specific than that.
I like doing research. In my case, I like designing research, designing studies, cleaning the data, finding data insights (epidemiology). I work with Qual people (qualitative, some have backgrounds in SS); I like the depths they can get to when doing thematic analyses. We do things like 'convergent parallel design' studies together. I like writing articles and struggle to understand people who find it hard to write.
Writing is easy. Analysing data (or thematic condensing) is challenging but doable. It's satisfying to write results & Implications.
Getting data, and getting coauthors to answer my emails is flipping tough, though.
I don't teach. Not good at it. Don't enjoy it.
irresistibleoverwhelm · 04/08/2021 13:10
To be honest, not much. Stagnating pay/increasing insecurity/tone deaf management/mushrooming workload/increasingly impossible student consumerist demands/and now the pension faces another round of deliberate trashing so that it’s becoming half the value of what it was when I joined.
MakkaPakkas · 04/08/2021 16:39
I enjoy reading & teaching, having interesting colleagues, encountering new ideas. I'm a teaching fellow, so don't do research though
shmivorytower · 04/08/2021 17:14
Agree with a previous poster. I would be very wary of leaving a job to come back to academia
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