Monday, September 10, 2012

A Good Job

People have been asking me about the IR job at McGill.  Yes, it is to fill the spot that my move created.  Yes, you should apply.  No, really, go ahead.  As I mentioned many times in this here blog, the students at McGill are phenomenal.  Nearly all of the colleagues and especially the young'uns are terrific people.  The department is mostly collegial, and the new chair is a huge improvement over the old one.  Montreal is a great town.  I had my own reasons for leaving, but it is a very good job. 

The complications mostly involve Quebec.  No, you don't have be fluent in French.  Not yet anyway, but perhaps that might change with the new Parti Quebecois government.  Courses at McGill are taught in English, although students can opt to write papers and exams in French.  Which is why we have teaching assistants.  The complications are mostly about employment for the spouse if there is one and education for any potential or actual kids.  If your spouse cannot speak French, then getting a job will be hard but not impossible. If you have kids and neither you nor your spouse are Canadian, they are only eligible for the French public school system.  As it stands now, you could send your kids to English private schools, which would add $12k or more to budget on the expenditure side of the ledger.  That option may or may not change--depends on the PQ and whether they gain a majority in any election in the near future (although do not wager against the Liberals selling out the immigrants and Anglos on this, plus who knows what the CAQ will do).

I have plenty of American friends who moved to McGill and navigated these complications quite well.  For us, these challenges were part of the reason we left, but your mileage kilometer-age may vary.

Working in Canada as an academic is mostly quite a good deal.  The pay, according to surveys, is better than nearly anywhere else although taxes are higher in Quebec than anyplace else in North America.  The grant money can be good as not only is there no effort by random fans of ignorance to cut federal funding of political science, but instead of one NSF, there are essentially three with one purely for the Social Sciences and Humanities.

The skiing and ultimate frisbee are great, the beer is terrific, and it is hard to find a bad restaurants (although the Mexican food is pretty weak). 

So, if you are looking for a political science job in IR, apply to McGill.  I did, and I don't regret it.

No comments: