I started reading more and more on personal finance blogs, and found this “Moomin Valley: Personal Finance, Investing and Trading” really interesting. And since I had such a long, bitter experience in graduate school, I can’t help commenting. I got emotional there. But I just can’t help. And I can’t help posting here in my own blog too.
My husband and I share similar experience with you, and I agree with you that paying for graduate school is not a very good idea.
As you can see from our blog http://latestarters.blogspot.com, we started everything late (including blogging), partially due to the graduate student life. Going for PhD was a bad investment particularly for me, becuase I ended up with 3 masters:(
Even though I got full funding for all my 6 years in graduate school (in fact, I had 50K in saving by living frugally and saving every penny from the stipend and RAship), thinking of the opportunity cost, it is definitely a terrible investment.
I think that the worst thing of being in a PhD program, particularly in top school, is that I was “brain-washed”. I felt that nothing was worthwhile other than writing a paper. I will get an A in financial economics, and put all my money in savings account, because I do not really have time to study the real financial market.
Now I am back to real life, and the things I learned in graduate school are not of much use on the job market. I thought I could look for a job in finance, but found out that I am too old. Those I-bankings or hedge fund would rather have a fresh BA with good math “intuitions” than hire an old “ABD” who can only derive some “trembling hand perfection” equilibrium (what a wired name!)
I hope it will be better for my husband. At least he got his PhD. But he is in a different filed. He has to go through postdoc, which means minimum wage for another year or two 😦
Maybe I should encourage my husband to work in Industry. But then we get our visa problem. It might be easier to get green card if he stays in acadmia. He could have applied long ago, but…… he was brain-washed too…..
Yes, overall, I agree that it is not a good investment to get a PhD, unless you really feel passionate about it, or you feel that you can get Nobel Prize, or it is in Finance, law, medicine….
I do not really regret coming for the PhD program. That was the only way I could get funding. I just regret that I did not realize that I was not the academia type. I regret that I did not wake up early when I was suffering.
I guess that I get a little emotional here. Hopefully time will eat my bitterness away soon.