Postgraduates: All about employability?


Interesting… I studied what I studied (although it was by research, rather than taught) because I was interested, and when following interest – more interesting opportunities open up:

“I feel guilty for finding it all so interesting,” a student on a taught master’s in history told me recently. My surprise must have been palpable because she went on to explain: “It’s just with the expense of it all, you have to tell people you’re doing it to get a job; otherwise it seems like an indulgence, really.”

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Life outside of academia?

It’s certainly possible. As someone who has worked across the disciplines, and was told in no uncertain terms that my ‘history’ studies of Second World War propaganda were in fact ‘media studies’ – maybe they were right, I now teach Media Studies!

Anyway, drew my attention to this page:

What kind of person writes a book about Arctic wildlife, 18th-century surgery or the byways of Elizabethan poetry? Most of the readers, one might assume, will be within universities, so who will the authors be if not academics? And in general, no doubt, that assumption will be correct. Yet, just as many 19th-century country clerics produced important work on natural history, one can still find examples of “independent scholars” – people unattached to universities who venture more or less knowingly into academic territory.

Take the case of Richard Sale. He studied physics, stayed on to do a PhD and then worked in the nuclear industry until 1996, when he began to focus his efforts on writing and photography. He has now written more than 60 books, the bulk of them travel and walking guides covering fairly familiar territory such as Dorset and the Italian Lake District.

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