Introduction to “Beyond the Ivory Tower: Political Science Careers Outside Academia”

Carl KlarnerBy Carl Klarner (academic and political consultant at

I discuss my perceptions about being a professor as they relate to my decision to “leave academia” after attaining tenure, with graduate students or others who are thinking about becoming professors in mind.  I argue that university administrators are driven by perverse incentives that make promoting the public good at a large state university difficult. Lack of institutional support for academic standards is a large part of this.  By presenting a log of my work activities, I caution prospective professors to carefully consider how they might really be spending their time.  From the same log, I compute that my hourly pay was $20.74, consistent with the low hourly wage of many professors.  I then discuss my current job as a consultant and independent scholar, which primarily involves providing data to other political scientists.  Although my current career choice is probably not one that would work for many, I provide my business plan for the insight it might give others wishing to be consultants.

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PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume 49 / Issue 03 / July 2016, pp 501-503 / Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016