“Dean Dad” Matt Reed had this blog post yesterday, and this morning there were a number of thoughtful comments on it. It is not that often that DD mentions specifically biology positions at Community Colleges, and the posting was right on. The blog post is in response to a graduate student who is considering not finishing his/her Ph.D. and apply for teaching positions at CCs. Matt advises to think twice before abandoning the Ph.D., as the field is competitive, and also to try out teaching at a CC to test the waters and find out if it is the right option.
The commenters were in agreement- finish the Ph.D! While I do not work at a CC, I taught for them before and know the system through friends and colleagues. It is not only that the field is competitive, with many more Ph.D. graduates abandoning or not considering the traditional academic career. Many CCs are now aiming at granting Bachelor’s degrees. But what I am seeing from my corner is that more and more research is being encouraged, supported, and funded in CCs. Big funding agencies such as HHMI and NSF are supporting grants and collaborative projects involving CCs. And to run research and being able to discuss with the “big boys,” a Ph.D. is a clear advantage.