Originally Posted by YOLO EMSHI
What are the pros and cons?
Cons: You spend many years of your life earning a Ph.D. During that time you are going into debt, or at minimum you are taking on a lot of opportunity costs, since you're not actively building up your savings. You do all this to make yourself eligible for a job that pays very little. And the likelihood of your actually getting one of these jobs is becoming increasingly slim. There are a lot of people in academia who really, really dislike teaching. There are others who like teaching, but really hate publishing. Those are two completely different skills, but you have to do a lot of both, and you have to do both at least reasonably well.
Pros: You get to read books and write books for a living. Presumably, these are books about things that you're very interested in. Moreover, you have a fair bit of flexibility in setting your work hours. I work about 70-80 hours per week, but I decide for the most part which hours those are. That's not a bad life. (I'll add this too: I say I work 70-80 hours a week, but honestly, I don't think of what I do as work. When I was young, I worked 10-12 hour shifts in a factory. That's work. Nowadays I love what I'm doing too much to think of it as work.)