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Pyrrhus
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wow, a professorship is so difficult. I am one of those planning to give it a try for a professorship (in Economics, Industrial Eng, OR, or Civil Eng.). Probably, I will try in 2012-2013, but I'll consider private sector, too. No point in putting all my eggs in one basket.

There are non-tenure track teaching positions. They pay poorly, there is no job security, and you might not get hired until the week before the term starts.
In general, yes, this is true. However, my husband is officially an adjunct--he stayed put so I could do my PhD program. Unlike most low-level adjunct positions, his does come with benefits (e.g. health insurance and pension plan). It doesn't pay nearly as well as a full prof gig--only about $72K/year--but$72K/year isn't exactly minimum wage.

ETA: My husband teaches one course per term; the rest of the time, he does research. Again, he has an atypical arrangement, but it could be way worse.

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wow, a professorship is so difficult. I am one of those planning to give it a try for a professorship (in Economics, Industrial Eng, OR, or Civil Eng.).
You and about half the other PhDs in America...

Seriously, though. For every one tenure-track job opening, you can count on 400 qualified applicants applying for it (I have many friends and colleagues on hiring committees who can vouch for this number). One of my colleagues is a math prof at a Cal State school--not exactly prestigious. This year, they got over 1,000 applications for the one tenure-track prof job in their department.

Seriously, though. For every one tenure-track job opening, you can count on 400 qualified applicants applying for it (I have many friends and colleagues on hiring committees who can vouch for this number).
A lot depends on the field. People with Ph.D.'s in finance or economics from a big name university are pretty much guaranteed a tenure track position once they get the Ph.D. The catch is that the admission rates to those programs are tiny.