PhD : The Thick Lies
PhD students have the potential to have good careers but most wont. So, what goes wrong? — ironically by pushing ahead with PhD. Being able to be enrolled in PhD means you are smart and often know enough math and judgements to have financially rewarding career and at the same time you have made a bad bad mistake.
For starters, PhD takes very long time to finish, often 7 years or more of your prime time in life. During this time, you gain almost irrelevant skills in regards to job market. So what happens after that 7 years? You will either look for another or multiple rounds of slavery called postdocs or learn new skills to have a real job. This isn’t easy for your nerve.
Who is to blame? Before that, what sort of hopes keep the poor and naive PhD students around in school? The thick smoke of lies propagated by professors that “keep working hard in laboratory and you will eventually get a faculty position”. Professors are crooked lawyers but not your lawyers. They are careful not to make ANY promise regarding your future career as he knows full well how empty it is. They will insinuate that you MIGHT make it. Your brain translates that to “I WILL make it”. Reality doesn’t care what you think of your capabilities, statistically speaking, you have 90% chance of not getting a half decent job.
Professors, by their failure to say clearly (or at all), what the future holds while they have a reasonable understanding of what is likely to happen, are guilty of negligence in moral duty. However, there is a conflict of interest here, and when that happens, all hell breaks loose and your career burns.
PhD students do share the blame of being plain cowards as they are too afraid to venture outside of academia and of being generally lazy in not asking good questions about their career. Crooked professor’s charm and your naivety makes YOU suffer. Leave the slavery of PhD and have a real career.