Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An article about speeding up Ph.D. completion.

What it fails to mention is what I saw in my program:

- people stayed in because they didn't have jobs yet, and didn't have anywhere else to go. You need a university affiliation to be considered by a hiring committee; you can't just go work in a quarry while you wait for the offers to roll in.
- other stayed in because they were comfortable there, and in no hurry to go out into the big bad world.
- a good amount of time needs to be spent learning academic culture and playing the game, including putting face time in at conferences and hoping to get introduced to important people.
- a lot of students get bogged down just because they're lazy- I don't know anyone in my department who regularly worked productively more than 25 hours a week (including myself). Motivation is tough, but necessary.

It also doesn't point out the fairly obvious fact that we really don't need too many people with Ph.D.s!

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