You might think the life of an academic is relatively easy. They have respectable salaries and ample annual leave each year (hello? summer holidays!)
However, Times Higher Education’s first major global survey of university staff has found that many academics are unhappy in their careers.
Between October and November 2017, 2,379 higher education staff were asked about their workload and their ability to balance their careers with their personal lives.
According to the survey, 85% of both academic and non-academic staff say that they think about changing careers at least occasionally.
So why are they unhappy in their careers?
Well, it seems like there are a few factors at play.
Volume of work
Academics do not have the set 9-5 jobs that many people imagine. According to the study many people struggle to find a work-life balance under their mounting workload. 49% of the respondents typically work one day at the weekend compared with 37% of professionals. Academics are also twice as likely as professional staff to work 10 or more hours per weekday
As a result of this intense schedule, many academics report that their mental health suffers because of their job. Male academics, in particular, admit that the pressure of work impacts their mental well being. 23% of male academics feel they are “never able to switch off from work”. Overall 31% of those questioned felt their jobs have a severely negative impact on their mental health.
Lack of time for personal relationships
Academics also feel that they do not have enough free time to work on their personal relationships. 58% of academic individuals think their job restricts their ability to socialise. While a staggering 62% of scholars say their partner regards their academic career as something that negatively affects their relationship.
This translates to children also. Among respondents who do not intend to have children, 63% of female academics say that this is at least partly a result of fears that doing so would be incompatible with their careers,
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