Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be PhD Students
When a student makes the mistake of asking me whether they should get a doctorate, I close the door and put on my most serious tone of voice. After discussing the horrible academic job market and the trend in academia toward hiring adjunct professors, I try to steer them back toward the real world. Well I just got some news that will help me in these discussions:
The number of PhD recipients on food stamps and other forms of welfare more than tripled between 2007 and 2010 to 33,655, according to an Urban Institute analysis cited by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The number of master’s degree holders on food stamps and other forms of welfare nearly tripled during that same time period to 293,029, according to the same analysis.
While this reflects the economy as a whole, it is also indicative of the fate of doctoral education. Too many students and not enough jobs.