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Thread: Don't go to grad school?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Don't go to grad school?

    Earlier today I found myself researching graduate programs, as I do sometimes. My gut tells me that a graduate degree in anything other than an in-demand or strictly professional field (medicine, law, etc) is a complete waste of time and money (assuming that you're paying for it). The exception to this is perhaps in math/science, where the better funded PhD programs are essentially low-paying jobs - could still be a waste of time though.

    Also found this:

    http://100rsns.blogspot.com/p/comple...t-to-date.html

    What do you guys think of the worth of grad school?
    Last edited by notdavidlynch; 03-02-2015 at 05:35 AM.

  2. #2
    singularity precursor Limey's Avatar
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    I say no, the whole town is a pussy just waiting to get fucked.

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    Member Ruby_Bookrose's Avatar
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    Depends on your age and what you want out of life.

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    It took 8 years of badgering to get me into a professional degree program. If I manage to graduate I still expect to end up like my brother's friend who has a law degree and has variously worked fast food, at a 7-11, and is now a billing rep. at a mobile service call center. Fuck no I would not do it voluntarily.

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    DOA Space Invaders Champion Neville's Avatar
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    Are you fucking retarded?
    “Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.”

  6. #6
    libertine librarian sandwitch's Avatar
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    If you're asking the internet if grad school is worth it then it is probably not worth it for you.
    I wanna see your goodreads, so add me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Spartan26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwitch View Post
    If you're asking the internet if grad school is worth it then it is probably not worth it for you.
    Deep!

    Once upon a time, AA degrees were a marked improvement over your hs degree. BA or BS were much better than an AA. Graduate degrees meant you could specialize or lead.

    Unless you're doing something technical in labor, I'd tell someone not to even think about stopping with a AA degree. I'm not even sure if a grad degree in the near future will be the same as a BA or BS today.

    I'd say it depend a lot on what you want to study or ultimately do. For the sake of security, if you have any designs of teaching in your chosen field, I'd say you should get your grad on. Of course, if you have success in your chosen field, you likely won't need it. No one ever thinks they're not going to be successful though either. I'd say do it for the knowledge and if you think it'll help you get ahead. Yes, it may be good security, as in not having it won't eliminate you from a position, but I don't know if I'd do it as a "backup plan." Sorta like Sammich was saying.

    Were you thinking of film school? I've meet plenty of directors, producers and some writers who say if they'd do it all over again, they'd take the money they spent on film school and just shot their own project with that money instead. These, though, are people who are working. While there's plenty you only learn by doing, I don't know how much they may've gotten out of a certain contact or that someone was more confident hiring them because they had the bonus round degree in their back pocket. A couple of my good friends went to UCLA, you know, top of the top. Maybe a coin toss between it and USC or NYU depending on what you want, but they haven't had illustrious careers. They've been out of school well over a dozen years and they still get emails every week for networking opportunities. That's so huge, I can't even stress it. Their degree does get them in doors. They could get into more doors while they were still in. Getting in doesn't mean closing though. It's kind of the nature of the industry but they said they met people they're not sure how they got in and whose work didn't stand out but they could work it apparently when they got in the room and had some big sales and assignments. Maybe the lack of skillz catches up but they'd sopped away enough coin that grad school was definitely worth it for them.

    I think in general when you're in school people will take your call, meet with you, offer advice, cuz you're cute & fluffy. The moment you step out, you're competition or a roadblock. No one will have time for you. I'd tend to advise any millennial to go for it but could see why in some cases it wouldn't be necessary.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tetris Champion notdavidlynch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwitch View Post
    If you're asking the internet if grad school is worth it then it is probably not worth it for you.
    Oh, then there's been a misunderstanding.

    I'm asking what all of you think of it with respect to yourself and your own experiences, especially if you've gone or are going, and how many of those 93 reasons ring true for you. Obviously none of you are in a position to give me any kind of advice about my own life and I'm not expecting that.

    I'm especially interested in the opinions of those who went for something less than practical (i.e. not something with a particular career in mind like yours).
    Last edited by notdavidlynch; 03-02-2015 at 07:45 PM.

  9. #9
    Member Ruby_Bookrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notdavidlynch View Post
    Oh, then there's been a misunderstanding.

    I'm asking what all of you think of it with respect to yourself and your own experiences, especially if you've gone or are going, and how many of those 93 reasons ring true for you.
    I went to grad school for a long time with zero expectations of getting a tenure-track job as I knew the job market was really tight. I ended up at a highly ranked school in a really weird way - was working and read a book that I really liked. Happened to contact the author (a professor) with fan email (can be a dork when I really like something). She corresponded with and urged me to apply to her program. I got in and received a fellowship that paid for the entire phd. It was worth it for me: I got an academic position - now have tenure.

    Lots of the items on your list caught my attention...

    2. Your colleagues are your competitors. ***yes, this starts from day one in graduate school - a cesspool of intellectual posturing. it doesn't stop once you get a job either. but INTP folks can be perfectly happy focusing on their little projects so I don't really care whether I measure up to others or not - I focus on the goal (whether finishing the degree or my next project).***
    3. Your pedigree counts. ***intellectual that is - best to study with someone who can trace their academic genealogy back to someone important or at least infamous (skinner in my case!).***
    6. Intellectual expectations are falling. ***expectations of intellectual output are actually much higher than they used to be.***
    11. There is a psychological cost for quitting. ***Yes, if you can't handle the high chances of failure don't even dip your toe in the pool. ***
    26. Some graduate students are more equal than others. ***competition is fierce but that doesn't mean you can't succeed if you're not a golden boy/girl - focus on your own strategy and your time will be better spent - lots of "stars" i knew/were intimidated by in graduate school never got jobs as their work was esoteric or they're ego made them flop in interviews.***
    40. Faddishness prevails. ***yes, everyone wants to hire the same person for 3-4 years and then they're on to the next trend.***
    55. There are too many PhDs. ***yes.**
    56. Grading is miserable. ***the bane of my existence and that's with graduate students only - I'd probably hang myself if i had to grade the work of 18-22 year olds!***
    57. Rejection is routine. ***yes. i have a thick skin and have grown to have less shame about my shortcomings.***

    one that didn't appear..
    94. The cream rises to the top. ***this is the unspoken belief of 99% of all the faculty that will train you in graduate school (in the US - i've seen after collaborating that AUS is less like this). They won't hold your hand - you will need initiative to prove yourself. Until that time, you're essentially a slave TA-ing, RA-ing, etc. in the service of a more advanced scholar.

  10. #10
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    All I can say as a Ph.D. dropout is, the two people in my family (nuclear and extended) who don't have a Ph.D., M.D., J.D., or the like, are the wealthiest. And, ironically, they're the ones to whom money is least important. The people who know the most, talk the least, and take a lot of little risks often are the one's who succeed (according to conventional conception). When I say "know the most" I mean it as the opposite of knowing more and more about less and less (i.e., a vanishingly small field). They don't teach this stuff in grad schools, which are populated and controlled mostly by people who never really left school. This is not to knock academics--it can be fun, extremely challenging, intellectually engaging, and provide a lot of satisfaction in life. But, it has to be your thing and you have to know this for yourself. That is, it shouldn't be your default option because you can't think of what else to do.

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