The difference in salaries here may boil down to a science versus non-science distinction.
In business, law, and soc. sciences, an academic's first position is a 'lecturer', and not normally a postdoc or RA position. Jouri is right, entry-level lecturer positions pay around £30k (normally a £28k-£34 bracket).
For most part of the UK, a salary of £30k is shit money relative to our costs of living.
Taking Canada, as an example, the starting pay for an academic roughly equates to 35k (sterling), but Canada offers around double the spending power compared to here.
Not entirely sure where this £30K figures comes from. I know of 3 people (OK, its a small sample) who have become new lecturers in the past 12 months (UCLan, Manchester Met and Leeds Met) in Computing Departments. ALL started on £24K. Advertisements may contain top end figures like £30K, but the actual reality appears (from what I'm told) somewhat different. Other may have different 'actual' examples?
I'd love to be wrong on this BTW.
Well, yes, it's certainly not about the money - we wouldn't be in this game if that was the persausive factor. But it is important that a salary offers a comfortable lifestyle, particularly after all the work that goes in to being an academic.
Personally, I don't see academic life in the UK as a viable option anymore, in terms of the pay versus costs of living, and hours worked/stress. I know a lot of academics in my field who supplement their salaries with private sector work to earn enough to live comfortably (this is in London).
Golfpro, £28-34 (usually exc. London weighting) is the current pay scale for lecturers. I've just had a quick look at jobs.ac.uk, and computer science lecturer positions start at a minimum of £27k or £28k (admittedly I only looked at the first 3 lecturer positions I could find).
It's possible the people you know are not on the new pay scale yet. The bracket of £28-34 is a result of the new pay scale that was hammered out after the strikes the other year.
Do you think... that PhD students have an unrealistic idea of what they are going to get paid when the finish? I'm just wondering and this isn't directed at anyone in particular? I'm not saying it's *fair* to pay a PhD student the same as a BSc student in non-academia, but life isn't fair and it happens as companies don't always care about your degrees past the BSc...
I just find that some of my chums who have just undertaken a PhD or are half way through, think that once they have this mystical, magical peice of paper.. that you're going to get a lot of cash.. quickly....
When in reality, that's not necessarily the case.
In which case.. DOES the UK (and any other country you guys know about) undervalue a PhD...or does the PhD student overvalue their worth?
'Has to be 'them' undervaluing surely? Can't be 'us' overvaluing, as £30K (as previously stated) isn't a lot of money in this day and age (is it)?'
Ahh healthy debate, how I love thee when I am supposed to be working... I would say, you could live on £15K a year for the rest of your life if your wages went up with inflation. Could you live 'well', well although that's subjective I would say no.. as you couldn't afford to buy a house, many of lifes luxuries would be unaffordable..
So £30K, to me.. (and perhaps others?) seems like a lot of money - maybe that's just because I lived on a student grant for 3 years and topped it up with lab practicals and exam moderation? Would I like to be on £30K in 5 years time? hell no... hence why I brought age into it as well...
So, you have someone with a BSc and 3-4 years of experience and someone with a PhD and 6 months experience... who would /should the Universty choose as the sessional lecturer? the person who can apply industry experience to the lecturing subject but doesn't have the research experience.. or the person who mainly knows 'theoretically' about stuff but hasn't necessarily experienced it?
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