Advantage Academia


I was asked to advice on the merits of taking up a career in Academia – leaving a plush career in Marketing.

Not finding myself competent to give advice on such a crucial issue ( for the individual) off hand – i decided to browse the what google had to offer on the topic.

Interesting posts came up. Obviously quite a few people had been smitten by the academia bug at some point in their careers or while they were starting their careers.

Being a college professor has one major blinding advantage – that of respect. No one can deny the respect attached to professors and for that matter teachers too in India. The intellectual aura that goes with being a professor – few other professions can give.

I have a friend who after completing his Masters from the best Technological Institute in the country decided to pursue teaching in well-known college in a nondescript town. This town doesn’t feature in the top 20 town of the country.

Apparently the reason he decided to do so was the students are serious about learning and he finds the ambiance good.

Obviously he doesn’t aspire for success in the worldly sense.

For someone who has more material leanings this might be a problem.
As , the college professor typically doesn’t earn as much as similar qualified individual in the corporate or Business.

Managing a young growing family with a single college professors salary
would be tough. A lot of sacrifices would have to be made. Especially if one is used to the luxuriant life.

This I feel would be a major negative. Other that the advantages are many.

Being professor gives one much on the job flexibility. Even schedules can be quite flexible. Job flexibility would mean there is a lot of room to maneuver on how the lessons would be taken. How the teaching would be structured. Question setting during the exams etc. I might be wrong on this – if so please do correct me.

You get 2 months off during the summers where you get free completely from the daily chore of preparing for lessons and are free take up consulting on other related work. No other job gives this kind of leeway.

I guess the greatest satisfaction lies in being around the youth , young enthusiastic people who are eager to learn. These interactions give rise to some very intellectually stimulating conversations. You get to feed on the energy of these people.

The work itself of reading and preparing for the class – being ready to be able to answer the questions being thrown at you, to clear away the doubts of the bright young minds – all this adds up to immense level of satisfaction on and off the job. Something which you can look back to with pride. Your insights might clear the path for someone to go on and be a successful entrepreneur or a successful executive. The possibilities are immense.

so, if you are willing to give ground on the material front and aspire to an intellectually stimulating profession – being college professor would be a good option.

Here Naomi Gladen gives good insights into the same topic

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