Q: This is a great service you do in answering these questions. I just read “A dream of college teaching” and was surprised by the fate of the professor. I wonder, is the same true for engineering and business professors? I studied engineering and am headed to an MBA. I’ve flirted with the idea of a business PhD but worry some about job prospects. It seems to me though, that top business schools may be in a different situation than the humanities. Also, it appears like there is a broken link for the article “The Last Professor” from your response. But I found it here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/18/the-last-professor/
A: Yes, there may be greater demand for PhD faculty in engineering and business at some schools; certainly the salaries are likely to be higher. However, I’d offer a caveat: supply can exceed demand even in these disciplines. That’s particularly true in difficult economic times such as these, when some schools have hiring freezes in effect. Thus, you want to be sure that the PhD program you attend produces graduates who are always in demand. Also, you wouldn’t want to pursue the PhD path unless it was a matter of true love. The path is long, and the competition is stiff. You would need to be sure that university teaching and scholarship are your professional callings.