======= Date Modified 01 Dec 2011 20:59:58 =======
I'm in my 3rd year and I'm considering to work in academia environment after I complete my PhD.
I really love doing research work but at the same time I am aware of the politic issue in an academic department.
The reason that I really love doing research is because I think research can us to understand more about human behaviour and ultimately my goal is to help people who have special needs.
The question is, is it not possible to avoid politic issue in an academic environment? Is it true that everyone works in academia simply compete who can publish the most papers, get higher salary and reputation? I have a feeling this type of attitude kill research badly.
Can anyone who works in academia tell me how is it actually like working in academia?
I would just like too response to your 'my goal is to help patients who have difficulty to enjoy a world in a normal like we do' Basically I am not sure what you mean by 'normal'. As someone with serious mental health issues and also doing a PhD I would argue that creating a binary opposition between 'them' (patients) and us (researchers) is ill thought out and slightly offensive
yes it is very political, but you can always opt out of the politics and just mosy along. However, if you want to push to the top or at least be reasonably successful in any job, then you will have to negotiate the politics.
I wouldn't say that trying to get as many papers published as possible is necessarily political, but perhaps I am being niaive. As someone who has acted as an academic mentor with those with mental health challenges, I too agree with the previous poster that polarising "normal" and "them" is a really bad idea.
I am a lecturer. Like any hard to enter profession it attracts competitive people. Universities expect their staff to publish regularly in good journals, bring in research grants, get good teaching evaluations, be able to demonstrate public engagement and impact and a whole host of other things - if you are not willing to play by those rules set by the employers and funders of universities and be evaluated and judged on that basis, then in this day and age academia is probably not for you. In the eyes of my employer, your best is never enough.
It's not what I'd call the politics of the profession though - like any workplace you will have personality conflicts, disagreements over how to do research and people jockeying for position. That's not unique to academia - I was a civil servant and frankly that's much more vicious as a workplace. If though you want to rise to the top, like sneaks said, looking at my own subject, it seems that stabbing people in the back, willingness to suck up to the great and the good, having the skin of a rhinocerous and unbelievable (and often misplaced) self-esteem and a willingness never to subordinate your own interests for the collective good appear to be the necessary qualities. Most people though aren't that ambitious, and you don't need to behave like that if you don't want to hit the top, just keep out of the way of those who do.
Just to add - I think the key thing is not to expect academics to behave better or worse than any other professionals and not to believe the ivory tower allows a life of contemplation shielded from the real world. If it ever did, I don't think it does any longer.
thanks everyone for sharing their views and experience. To be honest- I'm actually quite disappointed to know all these- I always thought education is "cleaner" than any other industries but I'm wrong as you have pointed out.
Can I assume since there are no differences between academia with any other industry- I can't avoid any politics/backstabbing issues wherever I go anyway, it is still a wise choice to stay in academic since I do truly enjoy research? Just that it would be difficult for me to go up high up without involving myself into any political issue.....
I think you just have to think about it differently. Less 'politics' and more 'strategy' - making sure you suck up to the right people so you don't get lumbered with excessive teaching hours, networking well to create good research relationships, bypassing certain people when making decisions because they are usually awkward, or going for a drink with the HoD to butter him/her up a bit for something you want to get passed through the uni processes - this isn't necessary 'politics', just a strategic career management approach 8-)
I agree with Sneaks approach of being strategic and yes Human, I don't think academics are any different from other professions.
I think there'll always be individuals who are inclined to backstab or take advantage of others regardless of where you work. Although I'd like to think that there are workplaces out there where this doesn't happen, I simply haven't worked in one yet! So it's just about finding the best way for you to work there.
Note: I don't work in academia, just heavily involved in their 'politics' at the moment...
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest