Academic Cog has a great post on this topic that I find a little scary.
[T]here isn’t going to be a “safe” area of the economy to guide our students into. I mean, clearly no one is going to want to take on college debt to go scrub toilets and fold towels (some of my returning students have told me that this has already happened in health care: I had multiple people last semester who went for janitorial-type job openings and were beaten out by someone who had an RN, even though the ad specified it didn’t even need a high school diploma. Hence going to college to try and pick up an RN or BPN. I predict, and have been for a while, that the health care and especially nursing bubble is a big bubble that is going to explode soon).
My students are trying desperately to get out of manual labor jobs so that they can support their families. What else can they do? Is there a safe area?
I worry about this with graduate schools as well. We have too many PhDs for the amount of college teaching we have. So, for example, at my college, one PhD has published three books in the last ten years, one with a major UP, and has written over 100 articles (including chapters and ency articles). He teaches at a CC and is happy to be there.
What can newly minted PhDs do instead of college teaching? What can they do if they get out with debt?
This is scary on many levels.
What will you and I do if literature can be taught by a single professor and papers graded by the computer?