Interesting polemic (even if the title has that annoying Buzzfeed ring to it):
“In the time that’s allotted to us to in life, we have to make many choices. Opting to pursue an unmarketable career solely because one loves it is an available option. But that decision has consequences. In a university system like ours, where supply and demand are distorted, many promising young people make rash decisions with an inadequate understanding of their long-term implications. Even for people like me, who succeed despite the odds, it’s possible to look back and realize we’ve worked toward a disappointment, ending up as “winners” of a mess that damages its participants more every day.” (from I have one of the best jobs in academia. Here’s why I’m walking away, by Oliver Lee, http://www.vox.com/2015/9/8/9261531/professor-quitting-job)
But the author does not say where he is going after he quits… Presumably, journalism? Will his future career not benefit from his experience in an academic job? Maybe it will have been time wasted. Maybe not. Another nagging question: how much is this a feature of liberal arts, and how much – of the entire academic system? My research has convinced me that there are problems of this sort in mathematics as well, even though less deep, but things are worse and worse in the humanities end of the academic spectrum. What can be done?