Area Studies: Career Suicide?

Is a degree in Central Asian Studies useless? Christian Bleuer of Ghosts of Alexander seems to believe so, though maybe not if you’re into that kind of a thing…

Ghosts of Alexander

[Yes, I’m back to writing. I had quit because of impending employment prospects, expected fieldwork, plus dissertation duties. But unhappily/happily I was deemed under-qualified (or overqualified…or too specifically qualified) for employment, my next bout of fieldwork has been delayed and my dissertation has made some unexpected quick progress. So here I am.]

Answer to the title: yes, probably. At the PhD level this is widely acknowledged by the PhD students themselves. The job market for recently minted PhDs is abysmal. It’s a simple supply and demand explanation. And that is for PhDs in history, political science, sociology, anthropology, etc… Now imagine you are getting a PhD from an area studies department; how many area studies departments are out there? And realize that these departments often hire social science and history PhDs who focused their dissertation on a particular “area” that the area studies department specializes in. Long story short is…

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