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PhD vs entering a job market

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Teger, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. the shah

    the shah Senior member

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    this is really industry-dependent, in some sectors you can't even get hired without one while in others you become overqualified and underexperienced ... but seeing as he's focused on a history degree, and he doesn't know what his plans, this thread is almost an exercise in futility and circular arguments.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    Article is a fair counter. It essentially argues the intangible for those outside of the experience looking in. You can't argue really with things like pride, ego, mental self-satisfaction, what have you, since they're experience-based. To argue against that would be matter of opinion and difficult to quantify from person to person.

    However, there is a strong part of the human experience to rationalize poor situations for the good, and self-select to remember the good once experience is over. The article essentially promotes mentally-elite pursuits in the light that they're higher calling and far more noble than say the materially-elite mindset you might find on SF or whatever. The article also seems to suggest that one needs the graduate higher education system to further their mental ability to the <1% elite stratosphere that only "real" doctorates can attain...

    Who's to say a working stiff cannot gain mental prowess through self-study and corroboration with those of similar interests in their free time pursuits? Sure there's no fancy paper or ceremonies with their pursuit, but I fail to see how one is conceptually more "noble" as that article frames it.

    I guess for me, the argument that "it's all worth it" to a degree to wrap your-self in to keep you warm and fuzzy at night isn't very compelling. The ego-stroking was slather on rather thick. Similarly, this is why I find those who revel in excessive materialism and spouts superiority over others as another soul-less and vain pursuit.

    I prefer my own version of balance... :embar: I'm sure others 'get off' on something else, perhaps it's a PhD, perhaps not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  3. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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  4. the shah

    the shah Senior member

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    a phd in what, what journals were they published in (impact factor) ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  5. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    American World War I history.

    Published in Social Postmodernist-esque Perspectives.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Concordia

    Concordia Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Quite true-- and I haven't done anything to date that would indicate that I disagree with you.

    Ya never know, though. I'm poking through some graduate coursework again and enjoying it-- if it turns into a master's, then we'll see where that goes. Luckily, there will be no economic consequence either way-- but that's my life, not anyone else's.
     
  7. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Unless he's a math PhD or something where publication is rare and momentous, six papers after three postdocs (six years) and a PhD (five+ years) is pretty poor. Also employers start looking at you sideways after a bunch of postdocs. Self-fulfilling prophecy regarding employment in that regard.

    It is shockingly hard for people with apparently "useful" PhDs to get jobs right now. Companies are loath to invest in research in general, much less hiring brand new PhDs who won't produce anything for some time. It's not a good time to be a PhD without industry experience.
    I'm having a hard time telling how much of that article is snark, satire, or actual attempts to make a point. There's a certain amount of non-financial satisfaction gained from the PhD, which is a real consideration for those of us motivated in that fashion, but a lot of people do get into graduate studies without any real consideration of the payoffs on any level. Articles like The Economist's are necessary, people need to know that the rewards for their PhD are unlikely to be financial (unless they're in certain fields etc etc).


    It's not like I didn't use the phrase "lifetime earning potential" in the post he responded to, that's what makes it kind of weird. Not like I exactly expect high quality posts from SH, but that one seemed almost completely disconnected from the quoted post of mine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  8. the shah

    the shah Senior member

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    i actually had that in my post initially, wondering how he had 6 publications in the span of 11+ years (about 8 of which would be focused solely on generating data / writing) but then I thought he could use the benefit of the doubt with regard to particular field of study or if he did something like Nature/Science publications.

    I knew one fellow who did his PhD at Harvard (or MIT, one or the other, his P.I. had a joint appointment and took students from both schools) in 3 years because he managed to get some pretty good work done, published in Nature, and submitted that as his dissertation :lol:
     
  9. erdawe

    erdawe Senior member

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    Shortest I've talked to was done in just over 2 years from a combined MD/PhD program, which seems to usually take 4 years. She was extremely smart based on background, but I regret not asking how she was able to complete it so rapidly.

    MD/PhD is not exactly, relevant to traditional PhD discussed in this thread, but I thought that was interesting.
     
  10. cropknox

    cropknox Active Member

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    I empathize with you like only someone in grad school can.

    I did my bachelors in finance and was lucky enough to land a kick ass job straight out of school because I was an honor student over-achiever. After a year in the workforce, I went back to school to get a MS in financial analysis, because that's what you are "supposed to do" in my field.

    Now I'm in an insanely grueling, brutally competitive graduate program and I miss my old job, miss friends (because 12hrs./day, 7 days/week allows no social life). Plus I have to live like a student again (read: Top Ramen for dinner).

    Only you can decide what's best for you, but I would say, the path that will let you have the most success in your chosen field is the way to go. Thinking about an academic career in sole financial terms is probably not the best approach. After all, no one goes into the humanities to get rich (by monetary measures).
     
  11. texas_jack

    texas_jack Senior member

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    My cousin has a PHd in history from Duke and she works as an administrator. It's a good job but not what she went to school for.
     
  12. Joenobody0

    Joenobody0 Senior member

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    The University of Michigan graduate student insurance is really second to none.
     

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