GEDs or PhDs: At what cost?

This blog reports of Rebekah who just got a Ph.D in America Studies and now has to settle for a job which requirement is just a GED; the author in some way states some other examples along this line, and then, it might be conclusive to blame the economy but I’m taking an additional look at some of the self-imposed costs.

The primary question I suppose this scholars I’ve refused to ask theselves is, “…in the long run, is the country or economy in need of more of my kind?” This might seem like an attack towards those in the humanities field, but then, what good is producing more curators, when the supply of museums are extremely limited [and even reducing], or producing more language scholars when there are cheaper alternatives? What can be said about the time cost this scholars have incurred over the five – six years they’ve decided to go get a dissertation.

In this view, I would say, before advancing to get a graduate degree, one should effectively measure the income, opportunities and experience that would be foregone and of course the ever prominent question of – is there still a need for my field in the long run?

Going into graduate school as the only alternative escape from the real world will have most current undergraduate students in for a surprise. Luckily, the gold rush into top MBA programs have significantly died down considering the now compulsory work experience requirement.

Just like these MBAs, how about having most graduate schools adopt this strategy instead of judging students by their just their transcript, GRE or recommendations. Here a work experience in related field can give the student some prospect.

Granted most Ph.D students often hope for a job as a Professor or some similar academia job; it’s high time for most students faced the reality of the market – they is only as much supply as demand meets, or at least most market expect an equilibrium. In the case of graduate degrees, the supply has greatly exceeded the demand.

The moral – postgraduate should not be the only resort.

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