Thursday, April 21, 2011

No more money

The first week I was at Cornell, one of the professors told the entire PhD class that, unless they were an international student, they would be lowering their expected lifetime income by getting this degree. He was mostly laughed off by the students.

If this chart in nature is correct, he was on to something though. Six to ten years after getting their highest degree, people with and without PhDs make about the same income. I suspect it varies a lot by field though. Certain degrees like Economics probably do quite well; Humanities and biological sciences don't. In the case of Engineering, the Masters degree is just too well respected a degree. The advantage to a PhD is minor, while you may make more money you don't usually make up for the years of not being in the workforce..

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