When I am asked if getting a PhD was “worth it”, I presume this to be a question about return on investment. The short answer is no. The long answer, factoring in the lost opportunity cost of those long years as a poor graduate student and the narrower job market, is the same. There are of course many other considerations that go beyond money. If you are looking forward to a career in Academia, then you need a doctorate to get on the bus (although you will sit, and most likely stay, at the back). The situation outside of the ivory tower is bit hazier, although most salary surveys give a slight edge to the PhD degree. If the PhD journey itself is appealing, then go for it. If this form of mentored research in an intellectually rich environment is not your passion, then get a job. Failing that, you can always get in the food stamp line with the PhD’s.
You are here: Home / PhDs on Food Stamps