Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.

Friday, March 27, 2009

PhD Program Rankings and Employment

Friends, there's a ugly truth profs don't like to talk about. Unless you graduate from a top program, your chances of finding decent, tenure-track job may be very slim. Here's a hypothesis, which tends to be significant at alpha = 0.05

H1: Students from top schools end up getting jobs at second-tier schools; Students from second-tier schools end up adjuncts or simply unemployed

Don't believe this? Read "Professor of Desperation" (see the "References" section to the right)

I was once shocked when I visited an online forum for PhD students in economics. Kids from top schools were praying to land a job at the University Middle of Nowhere.

So if you have scholarly ambitions, you shouldn't even bother applying to mid-level schools and below. Getting rejected by top schools and not going to academia may be your ticket to a much happier life. The only people who should consider attending a PhD program in a second-tier school are retired and financially secure folks who just want something to do between now and their death.

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