Thursday, April 23, 2015

Noah Smith's PhD Advice

Noah Smith's latest Bloomberg column about the pros and cons of going for a PhD is a worthwhile corrective to the increasing tendency to assume "more education is better."  He concludes:
So make no mistake: graduate school is no picnic. Yes, there are modest financial rewards. But unless you’re one of those people who absolutely loves being a scholar, you’re probably going to pay heavy costs in terms of your lifestyle and mental state. These are things I wish I had known about before I did my own Ph.D. Think twice before jumping on the grad school train.
I think "modest" may overstate the financial rewards.  Conditions vary widely by discipline, so its hard to generalize.  My own advice - tailored to economics - is here.

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