Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paid for What I Think

As a result of my taking undergrad language classes for several years, I get all sorts of email targeted at students. Many of these are enticing job opportunities, such as:

What would you say if you get PAID for What You Think!!

I would say: I already do!? I am a Professor and I get PAID for What I Think!

Sort of.

In fact, quite a lot of these job opportunities involve getting PAID for What You Think (!!). Isn't that kind of like being paid to be a professor? Somehow I think that is not the type of job that these ads have in mind, especially since the last ad I received promised up to $220 per hour.

I'm not quite in that pay range yet, but perhaps I can forward the ad to my chair to show him that some undergrads are making a lot of money for What They Think, so why shouldn't I? I suppose this isn't the best time to be discussing salary with the department chair.

Mostly I am happy that I have a job right now, and also that I have temporarily defeated the evil administrative demons who were preventing me from giving raises to postdocs even though I have the money in my grants. At least now the postdocs can be paid a little more For What They Think.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

And if you don't think you are being paid enough for what you think, consider purchasing an MBA or PhD so that promotion won't pass you by! (Based on the spam I'm getting, clearly someone isn't being paid enough to think when marketing bogus internet degrees to people that already have real ones.)

Kevin said...

Sorry to disappoint you, but every email address with a .edu ending is targeted by the student spam. The spammers don't care who you are and they certainly aren't selectively targeting people who take classes.

female Science Professor said...

That's true for some, but I get more of it than my husband and non-class-taking colleagues.

Anonymous said...

Science Professor taking language classes? That is really a refreshing idea! Would you please enlighten the rest about what the classes were and what was your motivation, and importantly, how did you manage to squeeze them in your day?

female Science Professor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
female Science Professor said...

I've written about that quite a lot over the years. If you search on 'language' you'll probably find them all, but here are a few:
example1
example2
example3
example4

labbrat said...

On the topic of spam emails, I have to say that I have never been more annoyed by it than I am now, in the final months of my Ph.D. Every time I see the subject line "Get a degree for a better job!", I feel like tossing my aging laptop off a rooftop. I'll take the male enhancement ads any day over these!

amy said...

I do think academics are incredibly lucky in our work. As a humanities person, I don't make a lot of money, especially considering how many years I put into getting a degree. But when I'm walking to work on my nicely landscaped campus, thinking about the reading/writing/teaching I'm planning for the day, I feel so fortunate. So many people are stuck in jobs that give them very little opportunity for creativity, independence, and variety. And that's just in the US. Consider all the people in less wealthy countries who have to spend all their time and energy on basic survival. The only time I don't feel especially grateful for what I have is when I'm in the middle of grading a stack of really bad essays.

Hope said...

Hmm … I never get these emails, and I have been blessed with an .edu account for many years. What kinds of jobs are these, exactly? The only way that I can imagine to make that much money wouldn’t require much thinking on my part.

female Science Professor said...

Actually, some of the emails are specifically targeted at language-learners and some are very specific to the language I have been learning. I don't really believe that the university is selling email info to businesses (though it may come to that..) and instead think that some of the emails derive from the online learning activities we did in the class.

Anonymous said...

"I do think academics are incredibly lucky in our work. As a humanities person,"

Of course you are. Bet you have tenure too.

hkukbilingualidiot said...

It is very possible that low graduate levels as opposed to demand is one factor for having these sorts e-mails. Employers would always wants the best graduates in some of the toughest areas as soon as they come out of the oven, so-to-speak. I got a lot of those during my undergrad years and am still receiving them now that I am in grad school...as I've only recently graduated.

Anonymous said...

I went into science (got the PhD, did several years of postdoctoral stints and all) because I wanted to be paid for what I think. But, after failing to land a TT job, and now working as a staff scientist in a research institute, I find that I'm being paid to deliver on someone else's agenda - namely the administrators of the scientific agencies I work for - rather than for what I think. Someone higher up decided that this is important science and that isn't, or that this is the way to keep our agency/division/department/group funded enough for us to continue to be employed, so my job is to produce the science to back up my manager's words and claims, so that he can back up his manager's and claims and so on. It's actually pretty soul-sucking. But hey, this is what 99% of the workforce who are fortunate to live above the poverty line, have to do for a living, right?

Anonymous said...

well in today's CNN Money, they have a list of the top ten LEAST stressful jobs, and 'college professor' ranks number 3, and one of the cited reasons is intellectual freedom (as well as job security)
http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/moneymag/0910/gallery.bestjobs_leaststress.moneymag/3.html

if only there were more job positions available for the huge pool of qualified candidates

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:23 referenced an article that describes college professor jobs

"Add in the summer vacations, long holiday breaks and near total job security for tenured positions, and it's no wonder college professors have such high job satisfaction"


Uhm... I don't know about colleges elsewhere in the world, but at universities in Canada I don't know of any profs who get summer vacations. They still research all summer, they just usually don't teach (or at least not as much.) Where is this mythical place where profs get whole summers off??? And are they hiring???

female Science Professor said...

The summer 'vacation' would be even nicer if we got paid by our universities for this time when we are working just as hard as we do the rest of the year.

Anonymous said...

the thing about 'summer vacations' is that tenured professors do have the option to take the summer off completely - whether or not that is a wise thing to do is something else, but you do have the option. If you don't mind the consequences of not being paid during the summer or having your research program suffer irreparable damage, by all means go for it. You won't be fired for it, your job will still be there for you to pick up the pieces, is what I mean (if you're tenured). whereas other jobs/employers don't even give you that option, they will fire you if you took a summer off even if you forego salary and benefits in exchange for not working. When you come back you will find they've now replaced you with another employee.

female Science Professor said...

It's only sort of an option. Professor who advise graduate students can't (or shouldn't) take a break from that for the summer, whether or not we are getting a paycheck. We still do some administrative tasks that can't be completely suspended over the summer, even if we would strongly prefer to refuse to do these things while not being paid by the university. I'm not (really) complaining. Being a tenured professor is great. But just having the hypothetical option of taking the summer off isn't worth mentioning as a job perk because it is such an unrealistic option.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they mean College Instructors (ie teach 4 courses per semester and are not expected to keep up an independent research program)? Many Instructors really do 90% of their work during the summer, much like K-12 teachers. Of course, (as with K-12 teachers) many of them do take other jobs during the summer, or teach summer courses, but presumably they will have a large chunk of time off in the summer...

plam said...

To clarify Anon 8:46's comment, all Canadian universities that I'm aware of pay 12-month salaries, and don't use the US university 9-month salary system. We are therefore supposed to do something related to our jobs during non-teaching terms. There isn't that much supervision, of course, so someone who has tenure and no students could presumably go on a 4-month vacation.

At my university, there's also a vacation provision: professors can take 4 weeks of vacation.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Hooray for getting your postdocs raises!

My previous institution had such, erm, *lovely* email filters that not only did 99% of the junk/mass mailings get trashed, but so did many of my students' emails to me.

It was quite convenient. (joking)