Why not do a PhD

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These slides are excerpted from a talk I gave at my alma mater in Feb 2010 to the CS and EE department. I uploaded this excerpt to share with the Edulix community for the thread entitled "What reasons …

These slides are excerpted from a talk I gave at my alma mater in Feb 2010 to the CS and EE department. I uploaded this excerpt to share with the Edulix community for the thread entitled "What reasons prevent you from pursuing a Ph.D.?" (http://www.edulix.com/forum/polls.php?action=showresults&pid=485)

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  • 1. Tales & Lessons from a Nomadic Academic Life[Excerpt]
    NitinMadnani
    Research Scientist (Text, Language and Computation)
    Educational Testing Service
    Princeton, NJ
    http://www.desilinguist.org
  • 2. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #1: Time
    Reason #2: Employment
    Reason #3: Salaries
    Reason #4: Research
  • 3. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #1: TIME
    Source: National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates for 2003
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf06312/
  • 4. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #1: TIME
    Median CS PhD awardee age is 31.4
    and Engg. PhD awardee age is 30.5
    Source: National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates for 2008
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf10309/
  • 5. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #2: Employment
    Source: PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1056
  • 6. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #2: Employment
    Source: PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=679
  • 7. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #3: Salaries
    Source: National Science Foundation Survey of Earned Doctorates for 2008
    http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf10309/
  • 8. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #3: Salaries
    +6 years
    +6 years
    +9 years (also starting salary cap for most industry jobs)
    +7 years
    +8 years
    Sources: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Survey, American Association
    of University Professors Survey, Chronicle of Higher Education Surveyof Graduate Assistants
  • 9. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #3: Salaries
    Do an MBA if you just want to earn money!
    +6 years
    +9 years
    +7 years
    +8 years
    PhD = Comfort [+Contentment + Happiness]
    Sources: College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Survey, American Association
    of University Professors Survey, Chronicle of Higher Education Surveyof Graduate Assistants
  • 10. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 11. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 12. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 13. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 14. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 15. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 16. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 17. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 18. Why NOT do a PhD?
    Reason #4: Research
    while (funding == true) {
    thesis_topic = find_original_idea();
    GOOD_ENOUGH = query(advisor);
    if (thesis_topic > GOOD_ENOUGH) {
    graduate();
    break;
    }
    else {
    years_in_gradschool += 1;
    continue;
    }
    }
    “THE BIG UNKNOWN”
    Adapted from PhD Comics, http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=626
  • 19. On a more serious note …
    The point of the last few slides was to present the pros and cons of choosing to do a PhD
    They should inspire thought, not fear
    Consider all aspects before you decide whether to embark on a PhD
    All of the reasons not to do a PhD can be overcome (Exhibit A: ME!)
    Conclusion: A PhD from the US is one of the best learning and rewarding experiences in the world if you make an informed choice to pursue it!