Thomas Hart Benton at the Chronicle of Higher Education on the academic job market:
When will there be stern talks about closing down all the marginal and bloated graduate programs that have created a reserve army of the academic unemployed? In effect, the MLA report asks lower-ranked departments to realize their proper station and accept that they should not be making faculty members write two books for tenure while teaching eight courses a year.
But there's no reason departments should accept that reduced status. They don't have to. Plenty of English Ph.D.'s are only too happy to meet whatever standard the departments care to set.
. . . . . .
Better advice: Do not go to graduate school in the humanities in the first place — not unless you are independently wealthy or, for some reason, you don't mind the strong possibility that six or more years of hard work and lost opportunity will come to nothing but competing at a disadvantage against new college graduates for entry-level jobs.
These are sensible questions, but they might as well be rhetorical ones. A few comments: