Some Ph.D.'s Choose to Work Off the Grid

Kelvin Ma for The Chronicle

Thomas Ernst (left), a linguist who is a visiting scholar at the U. of Massachusetts at Amherst, stops by a reception on the campus. "I've thought many times, I could get a 9-to-5 insurance job," says the independent scholar, "but my reaction to that is: Yuck. I'd rather live on the edge and be uncertain in life, and do what I love."
January 21, 2013

It might be easy to mistake Thomas Ernst for a traditional academic. His CV has a long list of journal articles, and he can often be found on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He attends lectures, works with graduate students…

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