By Jonathan Ng |Staff Writer|
Doctorate degrees are no longer considered to be the absolute road to a stable successful job.
The number of Ph.D. recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 according to a recent Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Many local professors, such as CSUSB’s own Dr. Tony Yang, a former history professor, have been victimized by this economic crisis.
“My darkest moment was when I finally finished dissertation, and there was no job… When I graduated, the first thing I had to do was file for unemployment,” said Yang.
The number of graduate degree holders in general on food stamps are getting worse as well.
According to the Urban Institute analysis, the number of master degree holders on food stamps has almost tripled to 293,029 from 2007 to 2010.
Many of the staff and faculty at community colleges and universities are afraid for their job security due to budget cuts. As one season passes to another, a good amount of professors come just as fast as they go.
“Going from having a lot of work to absolutely none… it is tough to tell my students that I am not going to be there next year when they ask me what class am I going to teach,” said Yang.
“It is psychologically tough for many people to not have a steady income… I have a wonderful fiance that I would love to marry, but because I do not have the money, that can’t happen.”
As the economy takes a rough turn, many Ph. D. holders are transitioning from high salary professionals to blue collar workers that are trying to get by.
There are over 5,057 janitors with Ph.D.s, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics as cited by the Huffington Post.
According to Dr. Yang, ” People that work for the academic side of things know that there is a situation going on, but people outside of the budget cuts treat it as if it were invisible. It is not invisible. It is very real and it is making it very difficult for us make a good living.”
Some teachers are slowly starting to lose faith in their ability to maintain a job and are starting to give up hope.
“They are cheating students out of a quality education by psychologically beating up our teachers… a lot of teachers do not care anymore—we need a stable job,” said Yang.
Along with the large amount of professors on food stamps and other forms of welfare, a large amount of other citizens in the San Bernardino County rely on the same government assistance.
According to the San Bernardino County Sun, “Every morning, thousands of people head to food banks… in San Bernardino county for help. Once inside, they collect fruits, vegetables, rice, bread, cereal, juice and other donated goods, stuffing it into bags and even strollers, to stave off hunger for at least another week.”
A lot of the families that are eligible for aid do not apply for it because they don’t know that there is help out there, or they feel embarrassed by the idea of asking.
“Only about half of the eligible families apply for food benefits under the CalFresh program,” according to the SB Sun.