Thursday, May 10, 2012
Janitors with Ph.D.'s
[T]he number of people with Ph.D.'s who received assistance rose from 9,776 to 33,655.Richard Vedder, "Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?" Chronicle of Higher Education (October 20, 2010):
[T]here are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.Nowadays someone with a Ph.D. would be lucky to get a job as a janitor. A few years ago, my daughter told me how much one of her friends (with no education after high school) was earning in his entry-level janitor job. It was more than I was then earning in my so-called "professional" white-collar job.
In 1981, not long after getting a Ph.D. in classics, I was temporarily out of work, and I applied for a job as a janitor. On my application, I didn't mention any of my college degrees, and simply said that I was a high school graduate. I wasn't hired, despite prior experience working as a janitor.
Gac Filipaj had the right idea. While working as a janitor at Columbia University, he took advantage of free tuition and, at the rate of one or two courses a semester, he eventually earned a B.A. in classics. Now he wants to continue towards the M.A. or Ph.D.
Hat tip: Underbelly (via email) and Mangan's.