PhDs on Welfare

I just read a great article about a woman who had her PhD but couldn’t find a full time job for quite some time and ended up on welfare:

There was a lot of backlash when her story was first told; the issue of welfare is politically polarizing, if nothing else.  I don’t really care about whether welfare is right or wrong, but I do think it’s interesting to consider how to counsel students and prospective students in an economy where a job in their dream field is not guarenteed.

Vet students are currently experiencing a relative job shortage.  There are still jobs to be had, but compared to several years ago jobs are not as readily come by.  Students can no longer find a job in precisely the city or neighborhood that they perhaps would have liked.  And in equine medicine jobs are flat out hard to come by.  Many times new graduates who had always wanted to work with horses end up working on dogs and cats.  Some of them are just happy, others are fairly miserable.

What can we do to monitor the job market and help senior students make educated decisions about graduate school?  Or should we scrap it and just tell them to “Follow their dreams”…no matter what?


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