Genuine advice series: Not for love or for money – why do a PhD?

by phdscam

This is the original guardian.co.uk article. We summarize here few points here.

Is starting a doctorate degree motivated by love for knowledge, dreams of joining the intellectual elite or financial gain?

PhD is anything but money except the 1% from Ivy league luckies. How does that make you feel the rest 99% – who “also ran”?

One of the comments on that post made me think that one of the best ways to minimize PhD drop-out rates is to select the best candidates in the first place. The next logical question is then: Why go for a PhD in the first place?

Why did you go for PhD? Very few PhDs would try to justify their this decision, although its the biggest one they make for half a decade.

Simply put, PhD students are those with a high degree of personal motivation that stems from their natural curiosity and love of intellectual pursuits. It is expected that after they obtain their degree they will metamorphose into scholars for whom also the temptation of researching new and exciting subjects is irresistible, or at least preferable to all other choices.

Curiosity wont provide you gainful employment, forget about being rich.

There are few available jobs, there is a lot of tough competition and the salary of a professional is lower here than in the industry. So the PhD is valuable if its possessor is interested in the non-academic job market.

What happens to the losers of those few jobs?

how many Fortune 100 people hold a doctorate? Not many. On the contrary, there are numerous among these who are drop-outs (even before finishing a undergraduate course). So if you want to be really financially prosperous, then PhDs are not for you.

PhD isn’t for anyone who isn’t crazy! Lets put that simply.

why choose to specializes narrowly, work so many hours, and for so little pay when one could get a more lucrative employment elsewhere?

Let us know why you decided to a PhD. Good arguments will be published.

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