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Thread: Is there any point in doing this if I can't get into top 30?

  1. #11
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Is there any point in doing this if I can't get into top 30?

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    Quote Originally Posted by applicant12 View Post
    But a lot, and I mean A LOT, of college instructors in America are non-American and non-native English speakers, and not all of them speak good English. I see your points, and I think they're fair, but I honestly don't think not being an American or a native English speaker is that significant of a barrier. I personally think if OP did his undergrad in the US, relating to American students won't be that big of an issue (I'm speaking from personal experience. I'm not saying I'm the best instructor out there, but my evaluations weren't bad)
    I don't remember your affiliation, but as long as you're a PhD student, you're in an environment that has almost no emphasis on teaching. For one thing, you teach a lot less than the typical full-time lecturer; a "dedicated" teacher is someone who invests 20% of his time instead of 10%. Second, because the admissions and hiring criteria is almost entirely based on research (and presentation of research), many of your fellow instructors will not be good undergrad-level teachers, nor do they invest much time into getting better. And in any case a majority of them will not be native English speakers. It's not hard to be an average teacher in such an environment with a little effort.

    This is different from being an instructor at a teaching-focused tertiary institution (universities without PhD programs, and community colleges), which OP said he would consider. In these institutions, instructors are competing with each other on a 60-hour/week teaching workload, and your teaching is the sole criterion for hiring, firing, pay raises, etc., which means you'll only be competing against very good speakers and/or dedicated teachers. Most econ instructors, except possibly for econometrics or international macro, will be native English speakers. I don't think this is ever an optimal career path for a foreign student who plans to get a PhD in economics. In many CCs, economics isn't even a department; you'll be part of a social studies department with sociologists, etc., and thus the chair/deans who decide your fate don't give a sh*t about whether anybody is actually teaching neoclassical economics at all. Your colleague in Principles of Econ might actually be teaching labor theory of value or praxeology, leaving you with a bunch of confused undergrads at the 2nd-year level.

    In general, teaching-only institutions, minus the top 20 liberal arts colleges, are a frustrating environment for PhD economists, unless you simply love teaching and could imagine yourself being a high school teacher in a parallel world. Practically speaking, the biggest difference between being a HS economics teacher and a CC economics lecturer is that in the latter case, it's legal to date your students.
    Last edited by chateauheart; 06-02-2018 at 03:15 AM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Is there any point in doing this if I can't get into top 30?

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post

    Most econ instructors, except possibly for econometrics or international macro, will be native English speakers. I don't think this is ever an optimal career path for a foreign student who plans to get a PhD in economics.
    Wow. Maybe Iím ignorant, but having looked at the faculty section of many colleges in the U.S. over the years, Iíve seen a lot of non-native speakers who teach things other than the 2 fields you mentioned. Sure, I guess most tenure-track professors are still Americans, but the way you put it makes it seem like a non-native speaker would have to move heaven and earth to get teaching-oriented jobs. One canít also rule out the fact that facing a teaching job in the U.S. vs. returning home, some foreign students may just pick the latter, hence the underrepresentation of foreign faculty members among econ instructors that you alluded to.

    Also, at which schools do you spend 60hr/week teaching? What kind of teaching load are we talking about here? 4-4? Even with such a teaching load, I canít imagine one spend 60-hr/week on teaching, unless you also include time spent on other teaching-related activities. Even then, I donít think 60 is the right number. I could be wrong. Would be great if you could shed some light/share some insights on this.
    Last edited by applicant12; 06-02-2018 at 08:13 AM.

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    Re: Is there any point in doing this if I can't get into top 30?

    Quote Originally Posted by chateauheart View Post
    Practically speaking, the biggest difference between being a HS economics teacher and a CC economics lecturer is that in the latter case, it's legal to date your students.
    While I'm sure chateauheart was speaking in jest, just to keep everyone out of trouble please remember that nowadays dating a student you have any authority over is pretty much a firing offense at any college...as it should be.

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