Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“Alt-Ac” to the Rescue?

Slate Magazine
September 22nd, 2014

When I first heard the term “alt-ac,” I thought of supplementary insurance and spokesducks. It actually stands for “alternative academic” careers, but the comparison wasn’t too far off, really: For new Ph.D.s and those just now limping to the ends of their dissertations, many disciplines just released their first (and “largest”) crop of job ads for open professorships beginning in fall 2015. In a lot of fields, almost all open tenure-track positions for next fall will be advertised in the next few weeks. And this year’s minuscule list shows that if any profession needs supplementary insurance, it’s academia: Future prospects for the profession of professordom have gone from bleak to cadaverous.

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