Sunday, October 18, 2015

Is this a bad year?

Latest Update: Check out a much more detailed post by Carolyn Dicey Jennings over at NewAPPs!

(Update: See below for a revised graph and a link to CDJ's data [thanks, CDJ!].)

In the permanent thread, there have been some questions about whether or not this is a bad market year. We have some preliminary numbers c/o Carolyn Dicey Jennings:

Looks like jobs are down across the board except for in value theory.

I'm hoping that this is just a function of the market being extended by PhilJobs's publishing schedule (round-the-clock), the declining role of the Eastern APA in the job market, and the move to Skype (or that departments are skipping first-round interviews altogether).

But that's probably just naive optimism.

EDIT, 10/18:

--Jaded, PhD


Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The link from the other thread shows 115 total TT jobs currently on philjobs. Five of those were posted after October 15 and three were posted before Aug. 1. That leaves 107 jobs. But CDJ's graph shows ~170. I find it hard to believe that 63 jobs posted in that window have expired.

What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Is CDJ just counting the total # of jobs on philjobs? Because there are currently 179 on the site which were posted in the time frame cited on her graph. That's pretty close to 170--a lot closer than the 107 TT jobs mentioned above.

Sci Guy said...

This goes against all my intuitions. I've been on the market each of these past years. Based on my own spreadsheets, Phil Sci is way better this year and value theory is worse. Have I miscounted? Surely others have noticed the same trend?

Carolyn Dicey Jennings said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carolyn Dicey Jennings said...

Good call. Not sure what I did, since I decided not to save my work. (Maybe I accidentally included the full year's data, but I am not sure.) The numbers I have now are 151, 132, and 123 for junior TT jobs on PhilJobs with posting dates of 8/1-10/18 in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. (I did a search with junior TT but some non TT always sneak in somehow. I tried to remove those jobs that are not really TT, but if you see others, my bad.) Here is a link to a new Excel file with a fresh csv download for transparency: I will put up a new image on twitter, too. I also did this looking at the full year in a calendar year up to 10/1 (in another, separate search that I did around a month ago for APDA reasons) and found the numbers to be 139, 163, 142, 109 for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, respectively (not from a downloaded csv, so some might not be true TT jobs).

Anonymous said...

"Is this a bad year?"

I think it's time to accept that the answer to this question is going to be "yes" every year. The jobs are being cannibalized into adjunct positions, and this trend is only increasing and, for the foreseeable future, will only increase. It's not going to get better. There is no upward trend, no recovery, no bounce back. There might be the odd outlying year, but on the whole, it's going to get worse, year on year, every year.

The only real question left at this point is whether there's a floor we'll eventually hit, or if we're looking at the beginning of the end for tenure.

Anonymous said...


This is not the beginning of the end for tenure. Look behind you, because we have already passed that point.

We are well on our way to the end of tenure.

Derek Bowman said...

The thing is, there's just no way to reliably answer the "is this a [comparatively] bad year" question yet (4:11 is certainly right that outside of year-by-year comparisons the answer will continue to be a resounding 'yes.') We still don't know what the effects of the extended job schedule are on when/what positions get posted, so we can't really know if same-time-last-year comparisons are probative or not.

So what are job seekers hoping to get out of the "is this a bad year" question? A kind of validation of the natural pessimism of being on the market? A sense of control - either the sort of control that comes with a feeling of knowledge, or perhaps just the sense of control over the process of finding an answer to that question?

If you're looking for long term trends, it's just too early to get any useful information out of this year. If you're looking at how immediate trends affect your prospects, then 4:11 has already given the answer: It's bad, it's been bad for a while, and it will continue to be bad for the foreseeable future. Even a modest uptick in job openings won't make employment prospects "good" on any reasonable interpretation of that standard.

The answer, then, is to do whatever you can to invest less of your sense of self and self-worth and less of your hope for the future in the philosophy job market. That doesn't mean you have to give up (at least not yet - especially if it's your first time out), but it does mean you have to work on finding other ways to define yourself, find value in your activities, and find something to look forward to in the future.

Anonymous said...

At least one AOS usually grouped under "value theory" has NO jobs this year.

Sci Guy: My impression is also that there are a *lot* of phil. sci jobs this year.

Anonymous said...

One complication lies in the fact that some job ads advertise multiple vacancies, e.g. Gonzaga is hiring three and MIT two. This won't mean a whole lot, but it could make this year and last more or less on par for this time of year.

Carolyn Dicey Jennings said...

Good point, 12:12. I am hoping to include the PhilJobs data in the future as an addition to APDA, and for some reason the number of positions doesn't show up in the csv file (there is a column, but it is empty), so I will have to think about how best to do so.

Anonymous said...

"The worst is yet to come." But for those of us in the midst of the catastrophe a precise enumeration of the desk chairs on this sinking ship is no consolation. The tenure-track Isle of the Blessed is a crumbling facade concealing a labor force that is three quarters adjunctified and immiserated in one way or another. Whether 'you' or 'I' get lucky it remains true that the profession as a whole has become rotten to the core. Derek Bowman, as usual, is on point: I plan on latching on to a piece of driftwood and paddling away like Odysseus. Beats getting swallowed up in this whirlpool.

Anonymous said...


Why did you buy a ticket for the ship in the first place?

Given how long these problems have existed, and how publicly they have been pointed out, I'm wondering why people still get on the sinking ship. It was sinking when you boarded it. What's changed?

Anonymous said...

Apologies for the long-winded reply, but since you asked: The situation I was told to expect back in 2008-2009 was that it was quite tough to land a job but that if you were good enough, and distinguished yourself enough, you'd be fine. This is what I was told by faculty that were advising me with the best information they had at the time, or maybe based off of how things were years prior when they were on the job market. Things weren't so bad back then, at least not at the bellwether state school I attended. For instance, the only adjuncts we had back then were former undergrads who had since moved on to grad school and would come back in the summer to teach a class or two for extra money. In the six years since that same school's philosophy department has become mostly adjunct - all of the new hires since them, or at least virtually all of them, are non-TT. It's hard to even recognize it as the same place anymore. As to why I got on board, well, I was already on another sinking ship, which was pretty much submerged (the job I did has since been entirely rendered contingent and without benefits or stability), so I preferred hopping onto the philosophy liner to drowning. I suppose it should also be said that I'm really good at it. My accomplishments in six years of grad school were pretty much unparalleled at my institution, as they had been when I was an undergrad. Unlike many of the affluent members of the profession, I didn't have family or networking connections that could have resulted in a good paying job in the private sector. Labor conditions for many jobs in the US have been getting worse, with increasing precariousness and many more of the 'costs' dumped on workers in various ways. What's happening in academia is certainly part of a larger trend.

Anonymous said...

One more thing: I disagree that the problems have been clearly long-standing and publicly exposed (though things are certainly trending that direction now that there's a full-fledged crisis). To the contrary, there has been what seems to be a deliberate attempt to conceal as much of this information as possible, for obvious reasons. You think graduate programs welcome prospective students by telling them: 'Half of you won't make it to your dissertation defense, and of the half that do less than half will find TT positions, and it's getting worse every year'. That's the truth, but so far no one has conclusively documented it and brought it to the light of day, probably because of the vested interest in keeping the supply of cheap grad teaching labor flowing. The only place I've seen such claims is on message boards like this, generally offered anonymously and often considered to be merely 'sour grapes'. The columnist on Slate who's made a career out of writing about the decline of academia really only got going several years after I was in grad school. Had I read her story back in 2008 it certainly would have given me pause, because I now find myself in the same boat: I'd have virtually been guaranteed a job once upon a time because of my record, and now I'm lucky to even get an interview. Meanwhile, the lack of institutional support and any source of funding means I'm effectively being shut of the profession before I've even had a chance to really show what I can do, which is a shame, and not just for me. One last thing, too. When it really comes down to it, I didn't make a choice to pursue philosophy. Pursuing philosophy is what I've done for a long time, for more than a decade while I worked some of the most menial jobs imaginable before ever coming to grad school. It was what I was good at, and I was irresistably attracted to it despite trying to do other 'more realistic' things before ever going to grad school. Can I do other things? Sure I can. But this is what I was best at, my record proves it, and given that I have just one life to live and happen to be in a wealthy country with an abundance of universities, it seemed like there many worse things I could be doing with my time, like rotting away in some menial tedious job somewhere performing repetitive tasks that do not make any real use of my talents and aptitudes (something, again, that I did for more than a decade before grad school). I suppose I can hang the symbolic tokens my superlative accomplishments on my wall, and move on with my life. But fates like mine (and those of many others) are a serious blow to a discipline that's already on the ropes. It's one thing to 'weed out the weaklings'. It's quite another to devour your children.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, in some ways, perhaps the wool was being pulled over your eyes. However, I suspect you were also willing to believe the lies. You note your accomplishments multiple times in your reply, as if they are somehow relevant. You attended a top program, had "unparalleled" success, and clearly don't see yourself as one of the "weaklings" that can (should?) be weeded out in the process. Oh, and you note that there were warnings, but those were made anonymously and not taken seriously.

I get it. I've been there. I was the most successful grad student in my cohort, the one who had the best chances of "making it," the one that faculty invited to university mixers to show off. And this was in a department that had one of the best placement records in the country. And I really, really wanted to believe the lie. Because when we went to grad school, we went because we wanted what they were promising us. And when I look back now, I see it for the lie it was, and I see all the things I should have noticed: the increasingly bad market situation that every year was believed to be just "one bad year," the increasing numbers of adjuncts and slow elimination of TT positions, the increasingly loud chatter on the internet from those on the market, the way my advisors started to ignore me for the Next New Recruit once I did not immediately find the success they had promised me.

And honestly, it sounds like it's a lie you still want to believe. Why else do your "talents," "aptitudes," and "superlative accomplishments" matter, now that you know they don't mean a thing in this broken system?


Anonymous said...

I am among those who are making this their final year. I am a 2015 graduate doing a VAP. I have no reason to think that my chances of a TT job will increase any if I don't get one this year. Or, at the very least: the increased chances don't off-set the opportunity costs of not starting plan B. It's a nice feeling to know that I don't have to do this again next year. What else I'll be doing, I'm not sure. But I am fortunate to have a safety net which allows me to leave. I wish that were true of more.

Derek Bowman said...

2:13 / 12:01

Remember that you can keep "doing philosophy" whatever job or career you manage to find. You don't need anyone's permission or institutional validation for that. But, of course, you do need to eat.

Anonymous said...


I'm not the earlier commentator, but I agree with you. I think it's very important to eventually separate philosophy from a career in a university. First, it would likely send fewer people down the road of financial insecurity and unemployment. Second, I think a lot of philosophy would get better. At the very least, the % of philosophy that's worth reading would be much higher. I read so much shit that's no doubt just the result of someone trying to get or keep a job. I know I've published with that motivation.

Anonymous said...


How would this lead fewer people down that road? As I understand it, philosophy - especially good philosophy - still requires advanced training. How is one going to get that outside of graduate school, which is how people wind up with financial insecurity and unemployment?

And while there is lots of crap being published by professional philosophers, do we have any reason to believe that the work will get better when it's produced by those who are not employed at a university? Who are your own current favorite philosophers who work outside of the university system? And more importantly, how do they pay their bills?

Derek Bowman said...


I won't pretend to speak for 8:20, but let me encourage you to expand your conception of what form "advanced training" in philosophy can take. Many philosophers like to flatter ourselves that we are not mindless slaves to convention or societal norms - that we are prepared to stand back and question everything and to decide for ourselves, using our own clear-headed exercise of reason, what is worth doing in life. But when it comes to the conventions and norms of academia, we suddenly find ourselves unable to imagine that philosophy can take any other form or have any other home.

You can study philosophy on your own; you can take advantage of the growing number of quality online spaces for substantive philosophical discussion; you can try to form relationships with others who share that goal and if you're lucky that might even include mentors who already have advanced training in philosophy.

Being successful at that sort of training - especially when you have to pioneer it yourself, rather than following the well-worn path of doctoral training - will no doubt be very difficult. And it can certainly be hard to make time and energy available for serious study while you work another job.

But it is also hard to make time and energy available for serious study when you have to go on the job market every year, or when you're always scrambling to make ends meet community from one campus to another, or when you have to spend time learning to strategize about journal submission instead of working on philosophical problems. And that's to say nothing of the administrative duties and other nonphilosophical tasks that will consume your time if you actually get a tenure-track job.

Anonymous said...

"Being successful at that sort of training - especially when you have to pioneer it yourself, rather than following the well-worn path of doctoral training - will no doubt be very difficult."

I believe you. I'm just looking for an example. Who are the philosophers working in this manner, and how can I contact them? Where are these online spaces and how can I contribute to them? If they are worth noting, let's use this thread as a way of promoting their work and getting others involved.


Anonymous said...

"And honestly, it sounds like it's a lie you still want to believe. Why else do your "talents," "aptitudes," and "superlative accomplishments" matter, now that you know they don't mean a thing in this broken system?"

It's a lie I still 'have' to believe, unfortunately. I'm on the philosophy job 'market' this year. I only quite recently defended my dissertation. I'm sure there is evidence of inconsistency in the story I've told. That's a natural result of having to go through another round of the philosophy 'job market' while at the same time realizing it's probably a waste of time or worse. The talents, aptitudes, and accomplishments of course do still matter regardless of whether they receive their just due in a broken system (some of them, so I've been told, are to some degree transferrable to other academic jobs such as research librarian gigs, certain kinds of academic administration, even secondary education and administration, as well as editorial work and 'research analyst' positions in government). Writing a groundbreaking article on a important philosopher for a big journal was a wonderful thing to do with my time and life regardless of whether I land a tenure-track job (I say this as someone who has no family mansion to retire to when it all goes sideways - not even a basement studio, and some pretty heavy debt). Likewise, with a few other accomplishments (though not so much with more routine work that just ended up as lines on the CV). I was fulfilling my potential simply by doing that work, in a way that I certainly won't be during all of the tedious and unrewarding work to come when I'm preparing TPS reports in an office cubicle somewhere. I don't regret the choices I made. What I do find regrettable is the staggering complacency and bad faith of those who keep the present dysfunctional system running. This is why I've come to believe that the best thing that could happen to me is not to get any interviews this time around and move on with my life. Nonetheless, I put the work in, did better than the vast majority of my peers, and feel like applying for academic work shortly after defending my dissertation is somehow necessary, something like finishing a song properly rather than just ending it abruptly because people are walking out and no one's putting money in my tip jar. Guess I'm just stubborn that way.

Anonymous said...

This may not be what Derek had in mind but I'd like to second his point nonetheless. Some philosophers make a better living than tenured professors, by actually being successful writers and lecturers for a wide audience. Hardly something one can plan for, I admit, but still a noteworthy example of philosophers who operate largely outside of 'professional' philosophy within academia. I'd be tempted to include Zizek here, though he is affiliated with academic programs he's hardly progressed through the ranks in a conventional manner and could just as well drop those appointments if it suited him. Peter Sloterdijk is another. An example from the 19th century would be Schopenhauer, who of course had inherited wealth to keep him going. His essay on academic philosophy from Parerga and Paralipomena is still worth reading for laughs, and for making the case that the only place worthwhile philosophy can happen is outside of the academy, you know, in that place where Socrates, Antisthenes, and Diogenes used to practice it before the affluent co-opted it and settled in campuses.

Anonymous said...


Peter Sloterdijk earned his PhD at Hamburg, and is currently on the faculty at the University of Art and Design Karlsruhe. Zizek earned his PhD at the University of Ljubljana and, as you point out, holds multiple academic posts. If these are the examples of philosophers who operate outside of academia, what counts as operating *inside* academia?

I'll grant that both write - to greater or lesser degrees - for non-academic audiences. But both were trained and hold posts firmly in the academic tradition.


Anonymous said...

What counts as operating 'inside' academia is the tenure-track rat race that virtually everyone who is 'lucky' enough to be hired has to endure on their way to tenure, and then all the crap they have to put up with to keep their relatively secure job. You know, all the things that Zizek and Sloterdijk don't have to worry about, like being on tedious committees, attending administrative meetings, and even something as simple as meeting with and talking to students as well as grading. Z. & S. aren't just 'bigshot' professors who don't teach all that much, they're public intellectuals who, as you note, write for a general audience. The posts they hold, at least it seems to me, verge on being 'honorary' ones, and thus not 'firmly' in the academic tradition (though maybe 'firmly' a kind of exception to the rule that can be counted on to occur every so often, when some poor academic slogging away manages to write a book that captures the public's attention and becomes a sensation). They don't 'need' the posts for income or even to establish or maintain their intellectual bona fides - no one invites Zizek to give a talk 'because' he has the positions he has, and the same is true of Sloterdijk. Rather, the institutions to which they are attached have reeled them in because it's prestigious to have them on board, because of their extra-academic accomplishments. Granted, they received formal training in philosophy at a high level, and there's no reliable substitute for that. The point is that there is still space in the public sphere for philosophy aimed at a general audience. One can think of them as 'sloppy' or full of it or whatever, and interestingly enough though I'm from a continental program they're both pretty much universally dismissed around here by faculty, but the fact is they're doing philosophy primarily outside of academia and outside of the narrow discipline of academic philosophy in a way that could perhaps be replicated, albeit on a smaller scale, by others. But sure, in general, I'm hesitant to concede that there are ample, or even a reasonable number of, opportunities to practice philosophy in everyday life as an integrated part of one's non-academic, non-philosophy job, mostly because the vast majority of those jobs simply do not allow for close and careful reasoning and back and forth discussion, consulting of texts, ample leisure to get to the bottom of some problem, etc. outside of whatever narrow service or product they provide. It would be a travesty if philosophers increasingly became consultants to simply help corporations cover their asses when it comes to ethical and legal violations, or were brought in to teach one-off seminars on new ways of 'thinking outside of the box' and the like. Now, one could lead a reading group, but at this point it's basically just a hobby, not unlike getting together with others and picking mushrooms in the forest or working on crafting projects together. That's better than nothing but not really an acceptable outcome for spending a decade or more training for something at a high level.

Anonymous said...

William Irvine is an interesting case. He teaching in a philosophy department and was trained at UCLA, but his books, which a solid examples of public philosophy, are not something he was trained to produce at a philosophy department. It is hard to imagine him writing these books without serious philosophic training, but he describes himself as intentionally turning away from the professional game and putting his training to more popular use...

Anonymous said...

Wow, didn't know about Irvine but yeah he's an excellent example here in the US (though he too does teach at a university and I wonder if he stopped writing for academics when/after he got tenure - if not, more power to him). I'm going to look more into him, since he's doing something quite different than Sloterdijk and Zizek but really interesting and also worth considering - tackling supposedly 'non-philosophical' concerns philosophically (weirdly enough, what he's up to reminds me of Henri Lefebvre's old project of a 'Critique of Everyday Life' though they're probably worlds apart in approach). I'm also reminded in this context of a former grad student whose name escapes me (think he got out after the M.A. rather than finishing his PhD) at the University of Chicago who's doing popular work on philosophy and craftsmanship, something perhaps a bit more sophisticated than the novels of Robert Pirsig, though similar, at least to a superficial observer like myself.

Anonymous said...

It seems we are getting off track. Remember that I asked for examples that fit this mold:

"Being successful at that sort of training - especially when you have to pioneer it yourself, rather than following the well-worn path of doctoral training - will no doubt be very difficult."

Because it was claimed that:

"You can study philosophy on your own; you can take advantage of the growing number of quality online spaces for substantive philosophical discussion; you can try to form relationships with others who share that goal and if you're lucky that might even include mentors who already have advanced training in philosophy."

And remember that all this started when someone claimed:

"I think it's very important to eventually separate philosophy from a career in a university. First, it would likely send fewer people down the road of financial insecurity and unemployment. Second, I think a lot of philosophy would get better. At the very least, the % of philosophy that's worth reading would be much higher."

So, while I will grant that there are some excellent philosophers doing great work that falls outside of a *very* narrow definition of what it means to be a professional philosopher: that it, people with traditional training, who hold largely traditional posts, doing relatively non-traditional philosophy. So allow me to be clear:

I'm looking for examples of philosophers who have *not* received their training in philosophy graduate programs, and who do not hold posts in philosophy programs. I was asked to "expand [my] conception of what form "advanced training" in philosophy can take," and I'd like examples. Other than graduate programs in philosophy, where might this "advanced training" take place? Is it taking place now, or are people just hoping that somehow, something better might arise?

Because it seems to me that the kind of work being pointed to is only possible after one has gone down the traditional path and won the lottery. From the examples that have been given, it sounds like non-traditional philosophy can only be successful after one has gone through the gauntlet of traditional philosophy. Whether Zizek *needs* the academic posts or not is irrelevant; he holds them. (And by a similar notion, how much he teaches is also irrelevant; we can all point to those faculty members who rarely teach, but publish quite a bit. We can all point to programs that have hired superstars to bolster their program's reputation, and who are not expected to teach much, or at all.)

Who are the philosophers producing good work who were not trained by, and are not employed by, traditional philosophy programs?

Derek Bowman said...

To be clear, my claim was not based on the assumption that there were clear antecedents you could rely on. The key phrase is "especially when you have to pioneer it yourself, rather than following the well-worn path of doctoral training"

Obviously there are historical examples to look to, but it's not surprising that it would be hard to find contemporary examples given the way in which contemporary philosophers have unreflectively surrendered the power to define who counts as a philosopher to provosts, deans, boards of regents, and others who determine the funding for and scope of philosophy jobs.

I think Matthew Crawford (author of Shop Class as Soulcraft) is a good intermediary example, since his academic training (but not his philosophical activity) stopped with the MA. Bharath Vallabha is another good (partial) example. He did receive a PhD in philosophy before leaving academia, but (Google to find his blogs) there's clearly no sense in which he has given up philosophy.

Perhaps Mike Strum (author of this ) can be a fellow pioneer in this effort. In the piece he describes his reasons for giving up on Academia but not on philosophy.

As for online venues, I was thinking of the growing number of online places that host substantive philosophical conversation, such as Pea Soup ( and Flickers of Freedom (

There are also a number of sites that host online conferences and online reading groups. Yes, these are dominated by professional philosophers with traditional doctoral training - but one does not need to have that training to participate in or benefit from those discussion spaces.

Yes, it would be hard. So is getting an academic job with job security and a livable wage. Which of these hard things would be the greater philosophical achievement?

(An aside to 4:41: If we start with Socrates, I'm afraid we don't even make it 20 years before a particularly affluent fellow "co-opts" and settles into his Academy.)

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who originally said this:

"I think it's very important to eventually separate philosophy from a career in a university. First, it would likely send fewer people down the road of financial insecurity and unemployment. Second, I think a lot of philosophy would get better. At the very least, the % of philosophy that's worth reading would be much higher."

The first point was a reiteration of Derek's point: if more people realized they could carve out a serious place for philosophy in their life without entering academia, then it's very likely that fewer people would be in the financial and employment situations that they are in now. Think of all those who pursue academia because they love philosophy--this is a non-sequitur. I love a lot of stuff and want that stuff in my life--but I don't need to pursue a career in it to do that. I take this to be Derek's main point.

My second point was that philosophy would get better once this separation occurred. People seemed to interpret this to mean that non-Ph.D.s would now be doing better work than the work currently produced by academics. I imagine some could do this, but that wasn't my point. My point was that there would be a lot more room for imaginative and innovative philosophy when there isn't this publication race that we have now--a race that is the direct result of the academic job market, which is plausibly due *in part* to the idea that one can pursue philosophy in a meaningful way only through academia. This second claim is perfectly compatible with all published philosophy, and hence all good published philosophy, coming from Ph.D.s in academia.

Derek Bowman said...

Correction: According to his webpage, Matthew Crawford did complete his PhD.

Anonymous said...

I think one thing that's being overlooked here is that fair number of people did not go into the graduate study of philosophy in order to merely study and publish. Quite a few of us went into this in order to teach. And given the current state of public education in the States (I cannot speak to other countries), the only way to teach philosophy proper is to do so at the university level. While I'm sure there are some high schools out there that offer introductory courses, or even cover some of the concepts that are covered in introductory courses, those schools are the exception, not the norm.

Sure, I can always read, participate in discussions, and maybe even publish if I find another way to pay my bills. But I want to pay my bills through teaching. And while not all grad programs were like mine (though many are), it was made very clear to me early on that if I wanted to progress through the ranks, I needed to downplay my interest in teaching. My program had plenty of awards and fellowships and grants for scholars; not a single one existed for teaching. Even the TA positions were given out based on the quality of one's coursework, and not one's ability to do the work of teaching. And when I slipped one day and said that I'd be perfectly happy teaching at a community college, I was laughed at, by both faculty and fellow students.

I now wish I did not sink the time and money into a PhD. I regret it. I wanted training for a particular job, and by the time I finished, that job was an endangered species.

Not to derail the conversation, but I think that philosophy programs need to do a much, much better job of communicating the importance of an education in philosophy. Specifically, they need to do a better job of convincing high schools of the value of this training. You'd think it wouldn't be hard - high schools are already teaching courses that engage ethics, aesthetics, and logic - but I see no efforts being made in this regard.

I currently teach a few classes at a local "teacher's college," and students who want to teach high school need to major in Education as well as their subject area. And it should come as no surprise that philosophy is not one of the possible subject areas (which include English, various foreign languages, math, biology, chemistry, history, physical education, and music). Other than one general education requirement (which can be fulfilled by Intro), future teachers need not take any courses in philosophy.

Does anyone not think that high school students would be better served by also having philosophy courses in their curriculum? Does anyone not think that graduate students would be better served by having high school teaching as a possible career path? (Sure, I could try and teach high school now, but in my state, I need to be certified, which means an undergraduate major in one of the above-listed fields. My point is that I cannot teach philosophy in high schools.) Further, does anyone not think that one way to encourage the study of philosophy at the college level is by teaching it in high schools?

Why does the field not see this as an important issue to pursue?