Andre Vellino pointed me to this article: Will the recession affect higher education? Short answer: yes.
- If you think education has historically had a hard time competing for public dollars with health care, you ain’t seen nothing yet. (…) institutions will need to find ways to reduce their cost base, and quickly.
- Typically during recessions, we do see increases in post-secondary enrolment, but generally not at the university undergraduate level.
- The equities crash means that professors on the brink of retirement have seen their savings crumble — they are much more likely now to stay put for a year or two rather than leaving.
- I think the economics of higher education for the foreseeable future are going to push institutions towards even more contract faculty.
- The problem is that hard decisions don’t come easily to universities: collegiality, for better or for worse, tends to try to preserve the status quo. But it’s not clear that the status quo is really an option.
If you want to become a university professor, it is still a good time to do so. Just make sure you go into accounting, marketing or law. (I should get paid to give out such valuable advice!)
Why? Think about it! Few kids wake up one day deciding to become an accounting professor. I have yet to met a student thinking about a Ph.D. in accounting! Yet, a lot of teenagers want to become accountants—for reasons that totally escape me. There lies the opportunity!