Ph.D in General

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

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sphy
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Ph.D in General

Postby sphy » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:29 am

Dear Friends,
This is my first post and I wish all the very best to all the applicants for the 2011 session.
I am going to start with this following off link,

http://www.economist.com/node/17723223?story_id=17723223

Please share your views and opinions regarding this article.

I personally don't think it to be like this.

Best Regards

bfollinprm
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Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am

Re: Ph.D in General

Postby bfollinprm » Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:58 pm

In the States, yes.

In other countries, no. There is still a worldwide dearth of knowledge experts in all fields, but there are way too many PhD's in the US. Most of us will end up in finance or programming, and for those of us who do, there would have been better ways to prepare for our future careers.

Of course, none of us choose a PhD because of any of these concerns, we choose a PhD because we love physics, and can't bear to be without it.

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WhoaNonstop
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby WhoaNonstop » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:48 pm

sphy wrote:Dear Friends,
This is my first post and I wish all the very best to all the applicants for the 2011 session.
I am going to start with this following off link,

http://www.economist.com/node/17723223?story_id=17723223

Please share your views and opinions regarding this article.

I personally don't think it to be like this.

Best Regards



This seems to refer to Ph.D's in general, not just one in Physics. If you have a Bachelor's degree in Physics, I think it's safe to say getting a Ph.D in the field is your best bet. However, in many other majors, I feel the difference between a BS or BA and a Ph.D is not as large of a gap. For instance, I'd be willing to assume that the need for Ph.D's in Physics is much higher than Ph.D's in teacher education. So regardless of how this article presents this, it doesn't worry me one bit.

-Riley

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sphy
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby sphy » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:32 pm

bfollinprm wrote: Of course, none of us choose a PhD because of any of these concerns, we choose a PhD because we love physics, and can't bear to be without it.


Yeah you are right.. :)

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sphy
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby sphy » Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:36 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:If you have a Bachelor's degree in Physics, I think it's safe to say getting a Ph.D in the field is your best bet.

-Riley


Oh yeah I do have and it's something more than bachelor's and something too much less than Ph.D.
So I am aiming for this golden degree.
Any way congrats for your acceptance, I checked.

bfollinprm
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby bfollinprm » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:15 pm

WhoaNonstop wrote:If you have a Bachelor's degree in Physics, I think it's safe to say getting a Ph.D in the field is your best bet.
-Riley


That's true, if you want to stay in the field. But most of us will be forced out of the field anyway (it's just numbers). And if we are eventually forced out of the field, there are several better things we could have done with our time, from a purely economic standpoint:
1. Masters of Engineering
2. Masters of Comp Sci
3. Industry analyst
4. Actuarial Exam
etc.

Of course all of that sounds awful to me, which is why I'm getting a PhD. I would caution everyone that there's a good chance you don't end up getting your dream tenure-track research position after your 7+ years of grad school and postdocs, and to keep a small part of yourself open to and looking for backup plans. I know people who've done adjuncts for the past 10 years and don't know how to hang it up.

GeorgeThe4th
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby GeorgeThe4th » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:07 am

Yeah I think from a philosophical standpoint it is hard to pool together physicists with others that pursue advanced degrees. Consider a person that gets a PhD in something business or finance oriented. Their motivation and passion may be there, but you cannot tell me that it is the same as a physicist that is passionate about understanding the very fundamental workings of everything in the universe. Given that, how can you possibly quantify the monetary usefulness and future prospects of a PhD?

While I am only a junior in college and am understandably uneducated in post-doctorate distress, I tend to believe I will be content with whatever life brings me after my PhD, so long as I am doing something in my field. One of my flawed qualities is an "all or nothing" approach to life (particularly academics). Strive for the top or don't bother at all. Either I make a career out of my passion, or I will go down an unsatisfying path the rest of my life.

I have actually had this talk with my parents on several occasions over the last few years of my undergrad. My dad has tried to push me in the computer science direction (his area of expertise) - as he considers it something I can realistically get a job in. So I almost changed my major to that during my first year. However it was right around that point that I realized, "No, this is about the pursuit, not the prize. If I cannot make a future out of it then I will go down trying. I would rather fail at something I took a risk at as opposed to spending my entire life wondering WHAT IF..."

ashowmega
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby ashowmega » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:51 pm

Here is sphy's concern in video format :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfxfnokQ ... re=related

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sphy
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Re: Ph.D in General

Postby sphy » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:34 am

ashowmega wrote:Here is sphy's concern in video format :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfxfnokQ ... re=related

It's not about any specific subject.




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