The PhD factory
Nautre.com came out with this. They dont do too many articles like this.
The world is producing more PhDs than ever before. Is it time to stop?
In some countries, including the United States and Japan, people who have trained at great length and expense to be researchers confront a dwindling number of academic jobs, and an industrial sector unable to take up the slack. Supply has outstripped demand and, although few PhD holders end up unemployed, it is not clear that spending years securing this high-level qualification is worth it for a job as, for example, a high-school teacher.
PhdScam’s verdict: it’s certainly not worth it
Of all the countries in which to graduate with a science PhD, Japan is arguably one of the worst. In the 1990s, the government set a policy to triple the number of postdocs to 10,000, and stepped up PhD recruitment to meet that goal. The policy was meant to bring Japan’s science capacity up to match that of the West — but is now much criticized because, although it quickly succeeded, it gave little thought to where all those postdocs were going to end up.
Well, there you have it. You are getting nowhere!
With such dismal prospects, the number entering PhD programmes has dropped off (see ‘Patterns of PhD production’). “Everyone tends to look at the future of the PhD labour market very pessimistically,” says Kobayashi Shinichi, a specialist in science and technology workforce issues at the Research Center for University Studies at Tsukuba University.
You make your judgment!
It’s a waste of resources,” says Stephan. “We’re spending a lot of money training these students and then they go out and get jobs that they’re not well matched for.
Want to know more?
How do I compete with laboratories that hire postdocs for $40,000 instead of a scientist for $80,000?
Time to quit?
- 9 things you should consider before embarking on a PhD by Andy Greenspon (bluesyemre.com)
- The Disposable Academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time (economist.com)
- Who will hire all the PhDs? Not Canada’s universities (theglobeandmail.com)