The Economist: “Doctoral degrees/The disposable academic”

by phdscam

The article  sums it all up as   “Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time”. Some of the main points of the article are:

  • A PhD may offer no financial benefit over a master’s degree….The earnings premium for a PhD is 26%. But the premium for a master’s degree, which can be accomplished in as little as one year, is almost as high, at 23%.
  • In some countries, such as Britain and America, poor pay and job prospects are reflected in the number of foreign-born PhD students. Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labour also keeps wages down.
  • The interests of universities and tenured academics are misaligned with those of PhD students.
  • Universities have discovered that PhD students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labour.
  • Many of those who embark on a PhD are the smartest in their class and will have been the best at everything they have done.

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