Reader story: decade of depression and slavery, part-3

by phdscam

part 1 part 2

Let’s have a closer look. Take this article from “The University Affairs” magazine – a Canadian magazine for higher education professionals, published by the higher education professionals: Canada needs more PhDs, but, leveraging that talent requires a strategy and investment.

“The diversity and global experience that our PhD holders bring to society and our labour market should be celebrated. Given the growing complexity of global issues and an increasingly competitive knowledge-based economy, we need a robust supply of highly trained talent infiltrating all sectors and amongst our political and business leaders to drive growth.”

Canadians holding PhDs have expertise in a particular field and are skilled communicators, problem solvers, critical thinkers and lifelong learners who are highly motivated, comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity and are increasingly globally connected. These are highly desirable attributes in all sectors and enable those with PhDs to succeed in a variety of work settings.

Now let’s have a look here: I Teach University Physics, But I’m on Government Assistance (by Andrew Robinson,  Contract Instructor, Physics dept., Carleton University), published on 02/04/2015.

My total earning for the year are $34,000 (that’s Canadian dollars, which are less valuable that U.S. dollars). The average household income in Canada is $76,000. My family is officially classed as “poor” by Statistics Canada, and we get Provincial income assistance. For this paltry sum, I work all year round, with a break of a week over Christmas. By the time one course finishes, another has already started. I get no pension from my employer, although I have worked there for over four years. My job, although de facto full time, is not classified as such by the University. Officially, they maintain the extremely flimsy pretense that it is merely a temporary situation caused by unexpected events like extra enrollment or sabbatical leave by a permanent faculty member.

Than let’s have a look here:No PhDs Please: This is Canada: Dismal Employment and Earning Prospects of PhDs. It is a BOOK! A whole book, dedicated to the subject.

Just put these two articles side by side, and read, read, read… Could anyone in right mind please tell me how exactly getting paid 34k a year is “a celebrating of diversity and experience”? how? Let me point something to you. The article in “Huffington Post” was published in 2015 and the opinion piece in “The University Affairs” was published in 2016, a YEAR after the HuffPo story hit the headlines!!! WHAT THE FUCK? It is an absolute arrogance of a thug breaking into your car right in front of you on a parking lot of a supermarket at the busy Saturdays noon.

In Canada foreign PhD-holders aka PostDoctoral slaves are paid somewhere between 30 to 36k per year. That is 23,000 USD to 28,000 USD. This is the most common pay for foreign-born PhD-holders (those that should be celebrated, accordingly to mentioned article) that do not hold their own funding. And most of them do not, because most fellowships are restricted to citizens or permanent-residents of Canada. The amazingly generous and highly-competitive Canadian fellowships are around 45,000 Canadian dollars, which is 35,000 USD.

Even the second-tier US-university, that doesn’t pretend to follow NIH recommended pay standards will pay to a PostDoctoral slave a 40,000 USD salary annually. A mediocre 40-45k postdoc salary in USA is actually comparable with the most generous fellowships in Canada!!!! OHhhh, FUCK THE POSTDOCS!!! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK THE POSTDOCS!!! THE POSTDOCS!!! THE POSTDOCS!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! yeaaaaaaahhhh….Moving on.

Doesn’t look like celebration to me! As you see, academia needs masses of laborers, but doesn’t have money to pay them. Do you know how much UNIVERSITY JANITORS are paid? Somewhere between 33k and 37k. It is a unionized job that offers health benefits (most of postdoctoral slaves do not have benefits). So let me repeat: often times a “celebrated PhD-holder” from abroad is paid on par with a JANITOR!!!!

Let have a look at the following piece:

Sales: A great career path for PhDs By JENNIFER POLK | JAN 09 2018

[me]: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME !? A salesmen? By the way, the author of the piece (J.Polk) has a Ph.D. in History from the University of Toronto and running a CAREER COACHING SERVICE. Really, tells you a lot. So you need a PhD to be a salesman in the car-dealership? How does your PhD in organic chemistry or astrophysics align with this great goal?  When I was a PhD-stud, I saw people in their 50-ties wearing cheap $100 suits and trying to sell us some lab consumables or equipment. So, in essence, one needs a Ph.D. to sell some crap to others wanna-be PhDs. I do not hate salespeople. But it is NOT the best job. It is definitely not the most fulfilling, stable and rewarding. And one doesn’t need a PhD to be a salesman. Let me ask you: where is the limit? When this fucking madness gonna stop? At which point will you need a fucking PhD to clean public toilets at a bus depo?

So these people are consciously conning other people into useless graduate schools, exploiting them to death in order to bust rankings of their universities, while putting them on government assistance and after all offering obnoxiously useless career advice!? Is it the way it should be?

And be sure: these people know very-well what and why they are doing. Current dismal conditions in academia is not by a flaw, NO!!!! it is all by conscious design. There are numerous reports on internet that both universities and professors are consciously pushing down wages, are not willing to pay any benefits.

Part 4, coming soon.