The Career Doctor™

by Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Looking for a first job? Thinking of changing careers? Facing a lay-off? The Career Doctor™ is a Larchmont psychologist specializing in career counseling. If you'd like to ask a question of your own, use the anonymous , and she might answer you here. Read more about the Career Doctor here. Contact in ation is here.


Dear Career Doctor:

I am about to pursue a Ph.D. in English. It's comically difficult to choose among the programs that accepted me. I've narrowed it down from a pack of about 5 to just 2--a public university and a private one.

The public school has the following pros: ranked very highly (in the top 25 of English grad programs in the USA), good job placement rate (80-90% of graduates have tenure-track jobs within 3 years of graduation), excellent course offerings and faculty. Cons: in the Midwest (far from my family and life back east), rather large TA workload for low pay.

The private university's pros are: it's in Boston (woo!), low TA workload for relatively high pay, and, though it's not Harvard, grad students at the school have full access to all of Harvard's libraries/research resources. The private school's cons: living in Boston is very expensive, job placement rate is lower than the public university's, less latitude in course offerings, and the program is ranked in the 50's instead of the 20's.

Which should I choose?


Dear E.J.:

For the Career Doctor, this is a no-brainer: I almost always advise people to choose the most highly rated school that accepts you. A school ranked in the 50's compared to a school the 20's? That's a huge difference.

That difference is reflected in the 80-90% of grads who find tenure track positions. That is a very impressive statistic. I have worked with far too many clients who struggled through graduate school and then couldn't find a job in their field -- or found a job that they could have gotten without the expense and effort of higher education. I would hate to have you (or anyone!) find themselves in that position.

I know you feel WOO! about living in Boston, but I advise you to head for the Midwest. Many friends who come from there swear you can find lots of woo's out there too. Once you get there, begin to search for them right away.

The Career Doctor



The Career Doctor™ is Larchmont psychologist and career counselor, Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez.

Her office is at 90 Beechtree Drive in Larchmont, 914-834-1982.

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