Going to grad school like going into military?

<ol>
<li>Going to grad school is like going into the military.
Applications to the military increase in a bad economy in a disturbingly similar way that applications to graduate school do. For the most part, both alternatives are bad. They limit your future in ways you can’t even imagine, and they are not likely to open the kind of doors you really want. Military is the terrible escape hatch for poor kids, and grad school is the terrible escape hatch for rich kids.
Don't</a> try to dodge the recession with grad school | Penelope Trunk Blog</li>
</ol>

<p>Is this real? escape hatch for rich kids? Would you say that only people with rich backgrounds should be satisfied with low pay of PhD program while others should go for higher paying jobs?</p>

<p>Have to say I don't agree, and I am certainly not impressed with her sources, or the completeness of her arguments. </p>

<p>"They limit your future in ways you can't even imagine..." </p>

<p>What ways? If she had elaborated on that and many other points in the article I may be able to lend it some credence. But I certainly won't be going anywhere fast with a degree with psychology outside of graduate school, especially since what I WANT to do is be a professor.</p>

<p>This is a horrible analogy with a grain of truth for the rich/grad school piece. MIL has always been a way out/up for people who meet the qualification standards and understand what they are getting into and I, for one, am glad they can make that choice. The question for evaluating graduate school is to look at it as carefully as if you were about to invest the cost of the degree in a stock, mutual fund, REIT, etc., or house (or rental property). </p>

<p>College is considered an "investment" in ones-self, but depending on the person and the degree, putting several years (lost income) and debt ($100-$200K, perhaps?) is a horrible investment (worse, student debt is generally not dischargeable in a bankruptcy). There are many fields where a masters or PhD is necessary, but staying in school on borrowed funds to wait out the job market is not IMO a good idea. Staying in school on the family's funds may make a little more sense, if only because of the reduction/absence of debt at graduation. Although putting the money towards some other nest-egg is probably still a better idea.</p>

<p>
[quote]
My career began in Los Angeles, where I played professional beach volleyball. Then I went to graduate school for English. During that time I learned HTML which allowed me to get a job at Ingram Micro, a Fortune 100 company, managing their web site.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I don't know if I'd trust her advice on grad school given what she seemed to get out of it.</p>

<p>
[quote]
When I graduated from college, I was supposedly going to graduate school in history. But I kept writing entrance essays about why I wanted to tell stories about people and history is a good way to do that. And finally, my professor who had stood by me for four years, getting undergraduate research grants for me to study mass movements in colonial America, said, “Forget it. You don’t want to be a historian.”</p>

<p>What she really meant was, “I’m not pulling strings to get you into Yale.”</p>

<p>...</p>

<p>I took the GRE and scored in the bottom 20th percentile in quantitative reasoning, which got me into an English master’s program.</p>

<p>It took me a year and a half and $15,000 in loans to realize this degree would never get me a job.</p>

<p>I tried to date a few professors, but they were already adept at judging whether or not a grad student was too messed up.</p>

<p>Now I’m going to tell you what I did to make things come together in my career.</p>

<p>First, I stopped doing work that wasn’t going to lead to a job. I got a C in Victorian Literature, a D in Film and Literature, an A in modern literature only because I plagiarized from the New York Times Book Review.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, I taught myself HTML before people knew what the Internet was. I presented a paper at the Dartmouth Technology Conference while my fellow English grad students were writing novels.</p>

<p>I left grad school a month before it ended. I just left. Went back to Los Angles.</p>

<p>...</p>

<p>I took the GRE and scored in the bottom 20th percentile in quantitative reasoning, which got me into an English master’s program.</p>

<p>It took me a year and a half and $15,000 in loans to realize this degree would never get me a job.</p>

<p>I tried to date a few professors, but they were already adept at judging whether or not a grad student was too messed up.</p>

<p>Now I’m going to tell you what I did to make things come together in my career.</p>

<p>First, I stopped doing work that wasn’t going to lead to a job. I got a C in Victorian Literature, a D in Film and Literature, an A in modern literature only because I plagiarized from the New York Times Book Review.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, I taught myself HTML before people knew what the Internet was. I presented a paper at the Dartmouth Technology Conference while my fellow English grad students were writing novels.</p>

<p>I left grad school a month before it ended. I just left. Went back to Los Angles.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>What? No. That is just an awful piece- I don't know where you got it from but don't trust that source.</p>

<p>What disturbs me about this piece is that I know that there are people who will look at it as confirmatory. I don't think there is anything that this woman has done that qualifies her to be giving advice in this arena or on anything, really.</p>

<p>I've been in the military, and I am now in grad school (with no debt, whatsoever). Depending on the type of person you are, both could be the best thing you ever could do. I didn't choose grad school to dodge the recession. I chose grad school to boost my qualifications as an engineer.</p>

<p>At Auburn University?</p>

<p>^Yes!!!!!!</p>

<p>I have a friend who went there. She got me a "Pure Auburn" and a "War Damn Eagle" shirt.</p>

<p>Meanwhile, I taught myself HTML before people knew what the Internet was. I presented a paper at the Dartmouth Technology Conference while my fellow English grad students were writing novels.</p>

<p>Maybe she was exaggerating, but HTML didn't exist before the Internet...the purpose was to write web pages for the Internet. Maybe she meant before "most people" knew what the Internet was.</p>

<p>In any case, I think her assessment is wrong, and I'm not just saying that because I'm in graduate school. But this one irks me the most:</p>

<p>*1. Grad school pointlessly delays adulthood. *</p>

<p>No it doesn't. You don't stop growing just because you are in a PhD program. This idea of being a prolonged adolescent just because you are in school needs to get dead soon, because all types of adults not only go to graduate school, but to undergrad as well. You can develop and come into your own as an adult in a PhD program, not to mention that many in their middle adulthood (and sometimes late adulthood) attend graduate school to change careers. I'm still an adult; earning a PhD doesn't change that.</p>