dsperka wrote:Wow, that sure was depressing. Maybe if I don't get into Grad School it will be the best thing that ever happened to me.
dsperka wrote:that guy made it seem like ... getting a bachelors degree in science, is the worst thing that you could possibly ever do.
dsperka wrote:I consider myself very rational, and know exactly what I'd be getting myself into with grad school. Whoever got a PhD in physics to make it rich sort of deserves to get burned.
dsperka wrote:only if rationality is based on personal income.
dsperka wrote:I also don't agree much with his stance on academia. Sure not every PhD will get tenure, but take a look at this webpage http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/highlite/emp3/emphigh.htm for a less sensationalized account of what a PhD might lead to.
David Goodstein wrote:The average American professor in a research university turns out about 15 Ph.D students in the course of a career. In a stable, steady-state world of science, only one of those 15 can go on to become another professor in a research university. In a steady-state world, it is mathematically obvious that the professor's only reproductive role is to produce one professor for the next generation.
dsperka wrote:Deciding to have a family is something all of us might face. Heck, I might decide that I want to be a pilot for all I know. The problem of a change of heart is not unique to someone in a PhD program. Its not against the law to quit before finishing, either, if you really wanted to.
dsperka wrote:Come on. A PhD has more options than he relates. According to those AIP statistics, 60% are choosing academia. That is a majority, but 40% is hardly rare. And look: http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/hi ... table5.htm 96% said the PhD was the right backgroud, and 89% found their job challenging! So yes, I agree tenure is very very hard, but there are other options.
dsperka wrote:I guess most of us (guys) are the romantic, irrational, and stubborn ones hes referring too. Is it romantic to want to spend 6 years of your life doing the one thing you are truly passionate about rather than starting your career? Maybe it is, I guess we're both romantics. But I don't think that its so irrational, only if rationality is based on personal income. I guess I am sort of taking offense to these types of claims in his article. I consider myself very rational, and know exactly what I'd be getting myself into with grad school. Whoever got a PhD in physics to make it rich sort of deserves to get burned.
dsperka wrote:I am only trying to say that the original article takes an extremely one sided stance on the question "Should one pursue a PhD in science?". It says that the only time it makes sense is if you are an extremely poor student from a third world country. Come on.
dsperka wrote:A PhD has more options than he relates. According to those AIP statistics, 60% are choosing academia. That is a majority, but 40% is hardly rare. And look: http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/highlite/emp3/table5.htm 96% said the PhD was the right backgroud, and 89% found their job challenging! So yes, I agree tenure is very very hard, but there are other options.
Andromeda wrote:I think that articles mistake is assuming that everyone who wants a PhD wants to be a professor, and everyone who doesn't "fails" somehow in their goal.
Andromeda wrote:I do think physics as a field does a terrible job advertising all the things you can do with the degree however- it's a wonderfully versatile one, just looking at what all my graduating classmates plan to do alone.
Andromeda wrote:ideally you should go because you think you would enjoy doing it. He sort of touches on this in the article but pretty much ignores it as a reason, let alone in the context of grad school.
Andromeda wrote:if he's right, how does he explain that women in science varies by country, and how for example in Iran (a place typically rated very low on the woman's rights scale) the majority of physics majors are women?
dlenmn wrote:Andromeda wrote:ideally you should go because you think you would enjoy doing it. He sort of touches on this in the article but pretty much ignores it as a reason, let alone in the context of grad school.
I think he address this pretty directly in the "What about the excitement and fun of science?" section. Since you state that, "if your only goal with going to grad school is to land a job later then yes, a Physics PhD is not the road to take," your reason for the PhD is because you like physics. We're young so spending another 5 or 6 (or more) years in school doing something we like doesn't seem like a big deal. Perhaps it is a mistake, but we'll only realize it when we're older. After all, if the PhD isn't good for jobs, then all you'd be doing is pushing back entry in to the "real world" by however many years. If your priorities change (and they often do -- the author notes that kids/family become important) then this delay could be costly in hindsight.
In short, just because you like doing something, doesn't always mean that it's a good thing to do. This is the type of advice that older people often give, but we don't listen to. Perhaps we should. (Of course, some say "Do what you love" -- which has problems too).
dlenmn wrote:Andromeda wrote:if he's right, how does he explain that women in science varies by country, and how for example in Iran (a place typically rated very low on the woman's rights scale) the majority of physics majors are women?
I don't claim to know why there are so few women doing science, but I'd have absolutely no trouble putting stock in a theory that fails to work in Iran. US vs Iran is such an apples to oranges comparison that nothing short of a Grand Unified Theory of Women in Science (GUTOWIS) will account for both countries. If you have such a theory, I'd be interested to hear it. However, since people can't even agree on a theory for the US, please understand my doubt that you have a plausible GUTOWIS. Let's stick to one country at a time (or maybe a group like "the west") for now.
Andromeda wrote:I know, and everyone has heard this at one point. But when else is there a time to be young and stupid? I'm being flippant I know but there really is no way to know RIGHT NOW what will happen when you graduate, so it's something to be taken with a grain of salt. Plus not like we're wanting a PhD in Film Studies or something really impossible to get a job with.
Andromeda wrote:Check this out- Women as physics faculty by country. A little dated obviously, but clearly the US is behind even many Western nations- if you look at more recent studies btw at physics majors, several European countries like Ireland and Turkey have double the numbers found in the US.
I think its a good argument that if career security is one's main motive for a PhD, there are much better fields.
lokai_ wrote:Realistically, what jobs offering career security (ie, both a "career" and "security") is a new B.S. in Physics likely get?
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