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Why doing a phd

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There's a fair question regarding what drives a person to do a PhD. Maximizing the earning potential could be a driven factor, but since it seems PhDs in some areas do not guarantee this, people can ask: Are PhD students irrational?

The article1 debates around the notion that humanities PhDs were never expected to contribute to the economy, and therefore their job success was not a concern. However, STEM PhDs are incentivized from the state. If job prospects for STEM PhDs are not great, then they would be making an irrational choice.

The article has many references, and I think it is sad that they only discuss from the job market perspective, and not from the value generation perspective. There is a clear reason for governments to incite people to pursue STEM careers if one thinks about the value graduates can generate. See: Technology Transfer.

Tags: #career #education #higher-education #phd


  1. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/phd-students-irrational/ 


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