Academia. For some reason an implicit snort of derision seems to accompany the term... you ivory tower types have all your theories but no understanding or connection with the practical realities of the real world.
For many of us, our exposure to academia is limited to what we observed with our instructors while pursuing our own degrees at college. We got our degrees and promptly pursued employment in the field. We may have some vague familiarity with the importance of tenure and the need to publish or perish, and perhaps a general impression that there is often epic interdepartmental politicking going on behind the scenes, but beyond that, really don't live in that world. I think this perception is unfortunate, because I'm not convinced the reputation is entirely deserved. Based on the interactions I've had with plannning Post Hole Digger types, I'm inclined to say the majority have a pretty good understanding of the political and practical obstacles practicing planners experience every day (that or talk a good game). That some have 'real world' experience only reinforces this impression.
How about you, do you currently or have you ever worked in academia (we have a few floating around Cyburbia)? Have you ever considered working in academia youself? What do you think are the plusses and minuses of this particular career path?