How To Avoid Academic Snobbery

Some people believe a popular myth that education is the great equalizer – it’s supposed to level the playing field. Once you have it, doors should open, new adventures and opportunities come your way.

Yes, education is a wonderful tool to help you expand your views of the world, seek new ideas, and understand the power of knowledge.

I read an article (Academia’s 1 Percent) about the challenge of doctoral graduates in finding full-time academic jobs. According to the article hiring depends on your Alma mater: Alums from Harvard and elite universities seem to get many of the tenure-track jobs.

Chopped Liver

This group of alums are also recruited by non-ivy league schools as a resource to build a school’s reputation. Translation: The rest of us are considered chopped liver by hiring committees.

We’re left to navigate the murky waters of the hiring process, swimming as fast as we can to find a lifesaver in the water. At least, sometimes that’s what it feels like.

While the academic job market is tight, we are using our creativity to explore our education as an alternative tool for growth. We are not graduates of the ivy leagues. We are real people who work in the real world.

Snobbery: An Academic Sin

Have you heard about the Seven Deadly Sins of the Academy? Snobbery is #3 – it’s pretty high up there on a short list…

Institutional bias or academic snobbery, is a key driver in deciding who is hired or not. Unfortunately, academia thrives on snobbery – read all about it: Snobbery in the academy is alive and well and doing harm.

Cast a Wide Net

But the world of academia is changing. Academic careers are no longer limited to teaching. Post doctoral folks and forward-thinking academics are casting a wide net to find alternative career choices.

Dr. Patti and I are realists. We believe that education should be shared, not kept in a bottle or stuffed in a dark corner to collect dust.

Since we earned our doctorates, we feel a strong obligation to give back, to write, teach, research, and help others. We understand that a doctorate (PhD, DBA) has given us a special set of skills which are a valuable asset in today’s job market.

New Knowledge and Ideas

While we may include teaching in our bag of career choices, it’s not # 1 on our radar. We can be:

  • Academic administrators
  • Student advisors/mentors
  • Committee and board members
  • Independent researchers
  • Consultants (create webinars, offer academic writing services)
  • Presenters at conferences, workshops, and academic residencie
  • Authors

Our goal is to monetize our skills outside of academia.

We will collaborate with people in the physical and social sciences, nurses, psychologists, MBAs, undergraduate and graduate students. Each of us can learn and grow through the power of new knowledge and ideas.

Snobbery is not our option.

Dr. Bessie

Ah, beware of snobbery; it is the unwelcome recognition of one’s own past failings.
~~~ Cary Grant~~~



Author: Dr. Bessie DiDomenica

Food Policy Researcher • Resilient Agriculture Advocate • Public Speaker • Public Policy Wonk • Writer • Teacher • Social Entrepreneur • Associate Editor

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