Just don't go - forget the advanced degree

Here's something you don't see every day: An academic who discourages people from pursuing advanced degrees. He is talking about advanced degrees in the humanities, but some of what he says has the ring of truth even for advanced degrees in engineering and the sciences:

"What good is professional training for a job that you are not likely to get, after a decade of discipline, debt, and deferred opportunity? Who are these people who think you can spend from two to 10 years with no realistic career goals in mind? They seem to assume that a graduate student will remain childless, or will have no responsibility to care for elderly parents, or will never have any health problems. They assume that there will always be someone else to pay the bills and wash the clothes, while the bohemian geniuses pursue their exalted calling. It's a kind of infantile narcissism: placing one's desires above all the other obligations that adults generally assume...........Even assistant professors, who should know what's going on, encourage their students to go to graduate school because it is professionally risky to do otherwise. "

http://chronicle.com/jobs/news/2009/03/2009031301c.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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