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February 07, 2006



My experience has been that many humanities majors have a much easier time in crossing over to a new field - be it technology or biotech - than people who've been educated in technology and science. I am not sugessting that technically inclined people or scientists or engineers can't do the same thing, I am merely saying that many professionals who studied humanities probably have been forced at some point in their careers to consider a change. We can't all be academics, become famous authors or ponder the meaning of life and get paid for it. Many of us originally educated in the humanities have therefore moved on to communications jobs where we can thrive and do what Elizabeth suggested: bridge the gap between laypeople and who ever it is, on the other side. In today's complex and often hostile world, that's not such a bad job to have!


I know exactly what you are ranting about. My boyfriend and I are both seniors at Auburn University. While I am taking more classes than he is currently taking, he still insists that he has to work harder; after all, I just sit around and write something or argue with someone about something in class. Every time I get frustrated with the amount of work I have to do, he simply laughs and says something about how easy my major is compared with his; if my workload is as big as it is, I should imagine how much bigger his is. Blah! Those in the sciences or technical fields assume that not only are their fields more difficult than anything a liberal arts graduate could do, but that they are more intelligent because of it. I am tired of being portrayed as an outsider, simply a rambling intellectual not really accomplishing many concrete tasks.

What these technical or scientific people do not understand is that no matter how outstanding they are, no one would appreciate or understand their accomplishments if there was not a knowledgeable person present who could clearly explain those things to everyone else. I would be interested to see how long it would take them to realize our worth if we ceased to be around, and I imagine it would be rather quickly. Instead of professionals from each side bickering about who has the most important job, however, we should be working hand in hand. That way we could all accomplish so much more. Imagine the possibilities.

As a side note, after hearing the description of your college building, it makes me very appreciative for the way Auburn has provided for its Journalism/Communications majors.

David Phillips

Ouch... a very raw nerve!

My PhD fees are $1500 per year plus living costs and travel etc. You MUST have a second career to do a degree in the UK.

If you are then unfortunate enough to want to do research the cost goes through the roof and so you must have a business that generates enough by way of profits to pay the costs and provide time available for research.

The software I built to prove George Simmel cost $18,000. The proof for the Value Model currently costs about $1,800 per month plus hosting costs etc.

There is no salary, and no funding so add another $24k for time taken out to research each year. Add also the cost of conferences and add a big chunk just for administration for publishing academic papers (which take over a year to get published – so the whole deal is at a snail's pace) and the costs become significant.

For a fast moving and developing area of social and management development such as Public Relations, there is no funding for pure PR research in Europe. None.

The nearest we get is Agencies and corporates happy to put money into non University 'think tanks' like Henley but even that tends to be for research into behavioural studies of Disney characters (Mickey Mouse is a favorite).

And then... cheeky lot, the PR industry wants it on a plate for free.

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