, and will likely be researching social media and social gaming for my dissertation. I'm excited, love the program, and can't wait to start publishing work as part of the academic community, however
on Metafilter, and a smaller living stipend than I expected, have me second guessing what I thought was a great opportunity. Details inside...
I like the academic world, and I would love to work in a tenure track position, but it seems that these positions are becoming increasingly scarce, and the process of obtaining them is becoming more and more financially perilous. My main question is will experience writing a dissertation and conducting original research be good resume material for work conducting research outside of academia?
I'm pursuing the PHD because I'm genuinely interested in the field, but I want to be economically viable to pay off my modest student loan debt after I graduate.
Since I have experience getting my MLS in the same program, I know that it's very collaborative, and that I'll likely have opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects, but I'm also worried that employers will take one look at my resume (a lot of part-time jobs, a lot of school, not a whole lot of full-time work) and immediately bin it.
My secondary question perhaps isn't answerable, but if you're in academia full-time do you think that the relatively small stipend as part of a GA-ship I'm currently getting will be increased with more time in the program?
I've talked to my adviser about this, and he's said that most students get hired as part of grant-funded projects, but it's clear that he doesn't want to over-promise and under-deliver (can't say that I blame him). As it stands now I'll probably have to take out some small loans next year to cover cost of living (as well as working part-time on the weekends in addition to my course-work and GAship duties), and I definitely want to try to keep my loan debt where it is, if not shrink it with small payments. This is especially relevant in light of the government no longer offering subsidized loans.
I know that this has been asked somewhat recently
in the past, but those seem mostly focused on the humanities and hard sciences. I feel that the social sciences (or whatever hybrid Information Studies qualifies as) is slightly different, especially since I'll be gaining hard skills in conducting research. However this is just a gut feeling at the moment, so I wanted to query the hive mind to get other perspectives on it.
You are not my personal life coach, but if you have similar experience maybe you can help me figure out if I'm making a mistake, or taking a sensible risk.
I'm terms of practical details: I'm fully funded, I'll be living in Maryland, and no other debt outside of a little bit of CC and my existing student loans from my MLS, I would be fine with either teaching or researching after I finish my dissertation but want to be sure that there is actually an option and not just a railroad.