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ERIC Number: EJ832307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Why Graduate Students Reject the Fast Track
Mason, Mary Ann; Goulden, Marc; Frasch, Karie
Academe, v95 n1 p11-16 Jan-Feb 2009
The authors recently completed an unparalleled survey, with more than eight thousand doctoral student respondents across the University of California system, and what they heard is worrisome: major research universities may be losing some of the most talented tenure-track academics before they even arrive. In the eyes of many doctoral students, the academic fast track has a bad reputation--one of unrelenting work hours that allow little or no room for a satisfying family life. If this sentiment is broadly shared among current and future student cohorts, the future life-blood of academia may be at stake, as promising young scholars seek alternative career paths with better work-life balance. Today's doctoral students are different in many ways from those of just thirty or forty years ago. Academia was once composed largely of men who, for most of their careers, were in traditional single-earner families. Today, men and women fill the doctoral student ranks in nearly equal numbers, and most will experience both the benefits and challenges of living in dual-earner households during their careers. This generation of doctoral students also has different expectations and values from previous ones, primary among them the desire for flexibility and balance between career and other life goals. But changes to the structure and culture of academia have not kept pace with these major shifts; assumptions about the notion of the "ideal worker" prevail, including a de facto requirement for inflexible, full-time devotion to education and employment and a linear, lockstep career trajectory. (Contains 2 figures, 1 table and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California