Psych academia and research ops

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Pss1, May 10, 2008.

  1. Pss1

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    Good morning all :hardy:

    I'm a psych student in the Uk and am wondering about some of the things that I could do when I graduate.

    I have been reading a little about academia and tenure, at least in the Uk it seems hard to achieve, but what about in the US? Some of the science magazine forums I go to speak quite poorly of the chance of becoming a full prof, but is this true of psych openings?

    Please excuse the general incoherentness of the post, they are thoughts that came to me in no order and I'm a little sleep deprived. :sleep:
     
  2. JockNerd

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    I've written before on this forum that I think a part of the perception that academic jobs are hard to come by comes from the fact that a lot of psych grad students say things like "gosh, I'd really like to practice, but maybe I'll be a prof" or "I'm going into practice, but maybe I'll get a tenured professorship on the side." I think some people think you fall ***-backwards into academia. That's really really not the case. But if you focus on it as a goal and work on getting out quality publications and generating funding, you'll be good.

    Lots of places are hiring lots of adjunct profs, but I think that has a lot to do with.... professional issues... (which shall remain unspoken by me at least!) and university funding issues. But, adjuncts don't mentor grad students or have research programs, so a psych program couldn't live by them alone.
     
  3. Ollie123

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    JN pretty much said it all. If you work your butt off, publish and present a lot and really get your name out there, its doable. Every grad from my lab for the last decade or so has pulled it off and we're productive, but there's nothing special or unique about what we're doing. Great mentors who are still ACTIVE researchers (<------- cannot overstate the importance of that). We work our butts off and don't leave til we're done. That's about it.

    Given the publication/presentation rates listed on peoples internship apps, I can't say I'm terribly surprised its perceived as extremely difficult. It seems like something only a small portion of graduates are actually trying to have the credentials for. Just like an MBA doesn't = CEO, a PhD doesn't = tenured faculty:)

    Edit: Forgot, as for psych versus other fields, I think we're in a slightly better position. Philosophy, for example, is MUCH more difficult (or so I hear anyways) because there is really very little you CAN do with a PhD in philosophy other than be a professor. There's just more options for psychologists than many fields since our training is pretty diverse, so people tend to spread out a bit more rather than EVERYONE trying for those few academic jobs.
     
  4. Pss1

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    Well, I can echo what JN says, as a few of my classmates said pretty much the same thing about going into practice and tenure on the side. I don't want to do this, however as I think counselling would really drain me and drag me down.

    What I want to do is work in research in some capacity, and it seems that academia is the place for that.

    So all of them got to being a full Prof?

    I looked at the bls and it said that Business, Law and Medical profs get the highest pay. What sort of difference is there between their prof pay and a psych profs, and why?
     
  5. Ollie123

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    Well, most are still en-route, but that is a function of time (very few folks make it to full in less than a decade). What matters is they are tenure-track and doing well enough for themselves that tenure has been obtained, or is likely to be obtained in the near future. The vast majority of schools tenure at the associate professor level here by the way, not full professor. I assume the UK doesn't tenure til full professor and that's why you are asking about it? There's little practical difference in terms of associate vs. full professor, other than some perks that vary by setting, and obviously, prestige. The big leap is from assistant to associate since that's generally when tenure happens.

    Business, med and law do get paid much more. I know at my undergrad, business profs were started at 125k for new hires. Psych departments might start at half that, typically. The reason is its basically necessary to draw people in. Someone with a PhD in business can make a helluva lot more in consulting than they ever will in academia even with the salary being twice what it was for psych. If it paid what psych did, business schools wouldn't have anyone willing to teach.
     

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