Why Doing PhD May Be A Waste Of Time

Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

In most countries a PhD – Doctorate of Philosophy – is a requirement in academia. It is an introduction to the world of independent research. In the United States, you enroll in PhD after finishing Master’s degree.

Each country has different enrollment policy. Some experts say there is not enough value to a PhD program and it may be a waste of time, energy and money.

Rest in Peace

There are some PhD programs that give the students more value for their buck in such fields as law, business and medicine.

But academia have discovered that PhD students are highly motivated and are cheap and therefore may be more employable.

Some universities have research programs for PhD so they can get grants from the government.

In some countries, such as Britain and America, there is a glut of foreign-born PhD students and are reflected in poor pay and job prospects.

Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labor also keeps wages down. Why? That’s a $64,000 question.

Not every student embarks on a PhD wanting a career in academia and many move successfully into private-sector jobs making a lot more money.

PhD graduates do at least earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree but may not make more than folks who have Master’s degree and are working in private sector.

Statistics suggest that over all subjects, a PhD commands only a 3% premium over a Master’s degree.

Some say that’s not worth their time and energy spent for a few more years.

Some say the skills learned in the course of a PhD can be readily acquired through much shorter courses.

In Wall Street firms, several short courses offer the advanced maths useful for finance and you don’t need a complete long course of PhD program.

Some have called PhD programs as surplus schooling. That means overqualified, more education than a job requires.

These PhD recipients may likely to be less satisfied, less productive and more likely to say they are going to leave their jobs because of pay and overloaded with work.

Art, culture and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder. Not everyone can appreciate it. Not every industry can appreciate the value of PhD.

Even though in the private sector they make more money than in academia, but they may not make much more than someone who has a master’s degree in the same field.

Postgraduate students bring in grants and beef up their supervisors’ publication records in universities.

One can say that these students are being used as baits to satisfy their more senior professors need for grants.

In some disciplines, PhD students are also offered training in soft skills such as communication and teamwork that may be useful in the labor market that most “technical” graduates lack in the real world.

As a matter of fact, Slate dot com has reported…

A few months back Peter Thiel, PayPal founder, announced an initiative to get kids to drop out of college for the good of the country.

Arguing that America desperately needs new entrepreneurs, he unveiled the Thiel Fellowship, granting $100,000 to 20 entrepreneurs under 20 years old.

“This fellowship will encourage the most brilliant and promising young people not to wait on their ideas,” he said.

In a Nutshell
Even hard work and brilliance may not be enough to succeed financially in real life. They would be better off doing something else than go for a PhD. The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi schemes.

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