Schools Training

PhD: so what does it really stand for?

27 DEC 2013
Topic : Education News

Recently, during some particularly thorough literature research, I stumbled on a list of alternative interpretations of the acronym PhD. Most were funny: protein has degraded, parents have doubts. But one froze my face in a bittersweet grimace: paid half of what I deserve.

When I was still a rookie PhD student, I read with outrage an Economist article entitled the disposable academic, which argued that doing a PhD is mostly needless. Lately, I’ve come to think of the PhD as more of a heavily spicy meal. It doesn’t matter how much you enjoy the process, once you’re done, you still have half of the pain ahead.

The years of academic slog to work your way up to a full tenure slot (professorship? ha – dream on!) are not much different from the work of a PhD in terms of relentless benchwork (pipetting hand disease) and unceasing literature research (pound head on desk), served on a fixed menu with professional uncertainty (please hire: desperate). All of which result in, if not professorship, then potential heavy drinking.

Read the full article: The Guardian