There are too many PhDs.

100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School#55 There are too many Phds. (Hat tip: Instapundit) The money quote from Glenn Reynolds:

“Colleges benefit from this situation, because there are so many well-credentialed people desperate for teaching positions that they will work for very little money. This would not be such a problem if the world outside of academe had more use for people with PhDs (see Reason 29). The fact that it does not is why there are so many people with doctorates who now find themselves working in part-time temporary teaching positions with no benefits (see Reason 14). . . . Perhaps most scandalous is what legitimate research universities have done to devalue the PhD, which is now awarded in fields ranging from hotel management to recreation and (most ironic of all) higher education administration. In the meantime, universities continue to lower standards for graduate degrees. The traditional American master’s degree—which once required a minimum of two years of study, the passing of written and oral comprehensive exams, as well as the writing and defense of a thesis more substantial than many of today’s doctoral dissertations—has been dramatically watered down. Will it be long before the PhD suffers the same fate?”

Since I don’t have an advanced degree, one could surmise that I could be displaying this piece as a sign of jealousy against those who do have them. No, the people I know with expensive educations and the credentials to prove it are mostly admirable folks who deserve credit for their hard work and their achievement (and they all benefited from their investment). I do, however, have an interest in what seems to be an “education bubble,” the high costs associated with securing any kind of degree from a reputable institution, and the poor prospects of employment after one goes into debt and does all that work. I simply ask: In 2011 and the foreseeable future, is it worth it? After all, it is possible to educate oneself without going to Brown or Pepperdine and build a good life.

Plumbing sounds like a good career choice—then read all the great works by those famous dead white males in your spare time.


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