PhD : the life skills

by phdscam

Albert Einstein was a nobel laureate and is widely considered to be an epitome of intelligence. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is rich, by selling stuff. Both are successful. Einstein also had many girlfriends. The point is he was natural in what he was doing professionally and had enough time to enjoy life.  Amazon boss is a successful business person. The important point is to be successful. The route to success is to find, first, whether market has any requirement for your skill and second, pursuing that skill. If that sounds like a cliché, it is not, if you can’t get your head around it.

During PhD, a student is brainwashed into believing that  PhD project is the only important thing in life. Your career, your personal life, your happiness – nothing matters. However, after finishing PhD or quitting, you will realize that your career is THE most important thing. Without it, nothing will work. And PhD isn’t the route to achieve career. Why so? Science PhD students are generally excellent in mathematics and logic, however, few job opportunities exist in that specific research area. If science PhDs try to do “real world” jobs, there is little use of that excellent mathematical capability. 90% of life’s problems can be dealt with simple common sense logic. This translates as well into careers as well. Business PhDs do well, however, they will do well without PhD, so what’s the point? Engineering PhDs generally do well, again, they would do better if they were employed for last six years. PhD in humanities are in the business of spinning words – which is of little practical use. Virtually zero funding towards a humanities PhD hasn’t discouraged all to this path.

Universities market PhDs as a way to get “enlightenment” – this is banality – pure and simple. Even if it was, that shouldn’t be the answer to your question. Your question should be “Will I get a career after I finish this degree, presumably in six years?” The answer is “NO”. You can’t afford to waste with 6+ years of prime time in your life. Life is too short for that.