What advice would you give to young graduate students and aspiring university professors?As I hail from a non-"top school" (and cannot think of myself as "extremely good" though I think I'm at least ok), I have to take issue with this. I don't have any particularly profound counter-advice (or a particularly inspiring story). So, I'll just have to witness to the fact that it's possible to land (what I think is) a fine job in academia even if you don't measure up to Young's criteria. (Maybe Rusty Jones--though I don't know his background story--is an even better example, since it's not every day that Harvard hires a Ph.D. from Oklahoma.)
Don’t. Not in the current job-market. Not unless you are extremely good and can get into a top graduate school. They still have reasonable employment records. But if you can’t get into a top school, forget it.
What Young says is probably true (Rusty Jones being the exception to the rule) if anything other than a "research" job would not make you happy. But as a baseline standard, that strikes me as a bit like refusing to drive anything other than a Bentley. And that's hooey. (So is driving around in your Hyundai and bitching about how you really deserve to be driving a Bentley.)
(I hope that if anyone at Arkansas reads this they understand that I don't mean to imply anything negative about the department there. I learned how to learn in that program, and learned from people that I trust immensely.)