Public intellectual. A what? How many people have ever heard of one? My guess is probably not many. A public intellectual (PI) is an expert of sorts. And while a PI is likely to be a PhD or doctoral student, academia might not be their only home.
Last week, I read a blog about loss and the end of a dream. It was written by an academic who was struggling to re-invent himself. He was a talented physicist who described his 14-year journey from undergraduate to PhD to postdoc research. But suddenly the journey ended. He would not reach his dream of becoming a tenured physics professor. He was a failure.
The world of higher education can be a mystery for many graduate students. Finding a job in today’s academic market is a challenge. Many doctoral students still believe that they will get a tenured job. But is this the best career move? Is it really what you want? Maybe it’s time to get back to basics – why do you need a PhD in the first place?