academic salaries

A rather sobering article (subscription required) in the Chronicle’s The Academic Life provides portraits of the financial realities of the profession. A selection:

When Catherine A. Milton moved back to her parents’ home to finish her dissertation, she didn’t imagine that she would stay for seven years. While living at their Connecticut home, she not only earned her Ph.D. but landed her first teaching job, at Norwalk, and even earned tenure there.

“I went back to my old bedroom,” recalls Milton. “You have to give up your independence and your identity, to fit back into whoever you were when you were back in the family mold.” Milton’s mother cooked dinner every weeknight, but Milton did her own laundry. “There was something about mixing underwear at the age of 30 that I didn’t want to deal with,” she says.

While living at her childhood home was inexpensive, it was also sometimes lonely, recalls Milton. “This was a very wealthy, conservative, coupled, married town,” says Milton, who is single. Living with her parents, she says, made her question everything about herself. “What is happening to me?” she wondered. “Who am I going to become?”

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One Response to academic salaries

  1. Autumn says:

    Right now my fiance’ and I are feeling like Milton did. we are both in college engaged and broke!!!!
    He will be graduating this year with a Masters in Public Admin. and I will be graduating with a bachelors in Advertising. After he graduates he wants to obtain a PhD from University of Penn which is going to be so hard for us when we are supposed to be getting married in May of 2009. UPenn has a program for certain PhD’s where they cover your living expenses for three years while you are studyingfor the PhD. We are both hoping that he can get into the program because we don’t want to have to live with our parents!!!!!

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