The Best Job in the World

Or: The Best Jobs in America. This Bureau of Labor Statistics info (via this post) lists the top 37 jobs in America. At the top is systems engineer. But let's look a bit below that...

Coming in at number 3: college professor. Median salary: $US70,400; top pay: $US115,000. Hmm, I don't work at a college, and I'm not a professor. In the US, "college" means "university." In Canada, "college" generally means either a post-secondary diploma-granting institution, or a bachelor's degree-only community college. But still, it does specify "professor." I guess there's a lot of good that comes with tenure.

In the number 23 spot is clinical psychologist (and 24 is psychiatrist). Ooh, close, but that's not me, either. Clinical psychologists are the ones who see patients (whoops, I mean "clients") and help them with psychological disorders, as do psychiatrists. Interestingly, this listing is not for professional psychologists, which in addition to clinical psychologists also includes counseling psychologists. Anyway, let's check out the pay. Median salary: $US81,100; top pay: $US172,000. Wow, that looks pretty good! (Naturally, psychiatrists make even more--remember, they can make $500 per session in private practice.) I've heard that clinical and professional psychology programs are now the hardest to get in to--even harder than medical school. If you're planning on this as a career, you better have straight As, research experience, and probably some volunteer experience, too.

While I'm rattling off stats, here are some more psychology numbers, from an APS Observer article:

  • 6% of the 1.5 million bachelor's degrees earned by students in 2006-2007 were awarded in psychology
  • psychology bachelor degrees awarded rose 17.3% from 2001 to 2007
  • in the academic year 2006-2007, over 90,000 bachelor's degrees were awarded in psychology
  • 21,000 master's degrees were awarded in psychology
  • and just over 5,000 doctoral degrees were awarded in psychology
(Did I mention that I love my job? I really do. I think I do have the best job in the world. It sure beats working retail.)

Why aren't you studying?

Career Transition

OK, this is just what I don't want to see in my email: information specifically directed to CAST (contract academic staff: teaching) about "career transitions." In other words: What to do when you are canned. Wow, how classy!

This document was prepared by Employee & Family Assistance Program (motto: "Healthy people, healthy workplace"), which is a part of the UofA's Human Resource Services. (The PDF document properties actually includes the name of the person who created it, but I don't want to embarrass her. That would not be classy.) It includes a lovely pastoral scene of a road stretching off far into the potential with opportunity trees providing gentle, sun-dappled prospect shade. Although I can't quite see what's off in the distance. Is it possibility? Promise?

Let's go through this document. Hmm, "Resume Writing, Interview Preparation." (I don't have a resume, I have a curriculum vitae, thank you very much. Sniff.) "Financial Consultation Service," "Career Consultation Service." Oooh, hey, lookit, "Counseling Services." I get to talk to a counselor about losing my job! That will help with my well-being! Er, but only for 3 months. (I guess after that, I will have gotten a job. Or I won't be depressed any more. Right?)

Now, to be fair (which I don't have to be, whyshouldI?), the Career Transition & Job Loss web page does have similar documents to this for other constituency groups: Career Transition Services for Support Staff, Career Transition Services for Administrative Professional Staff, Career Transition Services for Academic Staff. But somehow I doubt that anyone else got sent a blanket email distributing their career transition resources. Just contract academic staff.

Needless to say, getting this document freaked me out. A lot. Is this some sort of hint? Like showing the chicken the hatchet? Or was it a just-in-case sort of thing? Maybe HRS realizes that CAST will likely be the first choice in many departments to get cut. Despite my oft-demonstrated superior teaching skills (toot! tooting my own horn, toot!) when it comes down to money, sorry bub, you're the low man on the totem pole.

I did go and talk to some people about this. What I heard was reassuring: they don't want to get rid of me (or other contract staff in the Department), and they're trying to find other ways to save money--but, of course, nothing is guaranteed. So, I'm going to be a bit antsy until (if!?) my contract is renewed at the end of the summer. Yeah, I have to wait that long. Hey, look what's in my email. A notice that MacEwan University is hiring a lecturer in psychology. Excuse me while I go and prepare my resume...

Why aren't you studying?

Find It