For some, academia means more than an easy transition: it is an idealized sanctuary of civilization. Spending many years in that environment has deluded some to believe that life outside of academe means failure. An article [by Thomas H. Benton in The Chronicle], Is Grad School a Cult?, talks about the ivory tower seduction of such students, who become convinced a university is the only 'real' option for meaningful employment. When the realistic likelihood of landing a full-time position in a good location with job security (tenure track) is the equivalent of winning the lottery - it is time to change faiths. Believe that meaningful jobs exist outside academia.I found Billie's article to be fascinating and will hopefully be a wake-up call for many pianists to consider much wider career options. For example, if you're lucky enough to land a part-time adjunct or sessional position in a major city, it can often be an ideal springboard for a performing career without the administrative responsibility that comes with full-time academic employment. The same goes for positions at opera compaies, orchestras, new music ensembles, and chamber groups - they may not provide full-time employment, but being connected to a network often makes these positions highly worthwhile in terms of spin-off engagements. Arts administration, both in academia and in arts organizations, is currently a big growth industry many places. Why not consider it?
What are your impressions of the changing face of academia from recent experiences, positions, and job searches? I understand I'm opening up a can of worms here, so if you feel the name to withhold your name, sign in either as an anonymous commenter or invent a nom de plume. Please try to speak in general terms, and if you mention universities by name,