PhDs Lack Skills for Surviving Outside Academia

Inefficiency arises from the fact that substantial resources have been invested in training these scientists and engineers. The trained have foregone other careers – and the salary that they would have earned – along the way. The public has invested resources in tuition and stipends. If these ‘investments’ are then forced to enter careers that require less training, resources have not been efficiently deployed. Surely there are less expensive ways to train high school science teachers than to turn PhDs who cannot find a research position into teachers. Yet this is exactly what a recent report suggested. Many of these PhDs may not even have characteristics that make them good teachers. Surely there are better ways to create venture capitalists with a knowledge of science than for PhDs to become venture capitalists – or better ways to create journalists who write about science than for PhDs to become journalists. Yet such careers are often put forward as appropriate alternatives for new PhDs. There is also the question of incidence, the term used by economists to refer to who bears the cost. The current system may be “incredibly successful” from the perspective of faculty, as a recent report described it, but at whose cost? It is the PhD students and postdocs who are bearing the cost of the system – and the U.S. taxpayer – not the principal investigators.


Folksonomies: science academia

/careers (0.695948)
/finance/grants, scholarships and financial aid/scholarships (0.440716)
/science/physics (0.351239)

PhDs (0.970989 (positive:0.114540)), recent report (0.789787 (positive:0.645834)), new PhDs (0.786000 (positive:0.723745)), venture capitalists (0.778802 (positive:0.525785)), high school science (0.760672 (negative:-0.477232)), better ways (0.714551 (positive:0.525785)), substantial resources (0.624236 (neutral:0.000000)), U.S. taxpayer (0.607653 (neutral:0.000000)), research position (0.604439 (negative:-0.477232)), expensive ways (0.603814 (negative:-0.477232)), appropriate alternatives (0.595441 (positive:0.723745)), principal investigators (0.593742 (neutral:0.000000)), PhD students (0.591056 (neutral:0.000000)), good teachers (0.588375 (neutral:0.000000)), careers (0.560970 (positive:0.383570)), cost (0.491929 (neutral:0.000000)), journalists (0.485308 (positive:0.525785)), training (0.483193 (negative:-0.340175)), stipends (0.464284 (positive:0.372788)), postdocs (0.455132 (neutral:0.000000)), Academia (0.450950 (neutral:0.000000)), salary (0.449977 (neutral:0.000000)), Skills (0.442705 (neutral:0.000000)), economists (0.442595 (neutral:0.000000)), fact (0.442549 (neutral:0.000000)), scientists (0.442376 (neutral:0.000000)), engineers (0.442341 (neutral:0.000000)), incidence (0.441424 (negative:-0.346810)), tuition (0.440522 (positive:0.372788)), public (0.439604 (positive:0.372788))

venture capitalists:FieldTerminology (0.850101 (positive:0.525785)), principal:JobTitle (0.408034 (neutral:0.000000)), U.S.:Country (0.389534 (neutral:0.000000))

PhD (0.942464): dbpedia
Training (0.891483): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Faculty (0.867903): dbpedia
Skill (0.835012): dbpedia | freebase
Doctor of Philosophy (0.823432): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Doctorate (0.821998): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Profession (0.791504): dbpedia | freebase
Academic degree (0.759432): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 How Economics Shapes Science
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Stephan, Paula and Stephan, Paula E (2012-01-15), How Economics Shapes Science, Harvard University Press, Retrieved on 2015-03-08
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science academia


    08 MAR 2015

     Is College Worth It?

    Are PhDs a pyramid scheme? Are college returns worth the risk of failure and massive debt?