The PhD Factory

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110420/full/472276a.html

Interesting read from Natureeeeee….

One of my professor in Taiwan has told me right before I was ready to come to the US.  “Don’t think it will be easier for you to get a job with a PhD degree. Actually it’s even harder!” ………..Oh~~ well~ He is right…..

As described in the article, because education is the key to economic growth, higher education system in  most countries has been building up and become more mature. As the number of PhD holders increase, unfortunately, the supply is much more than the demand; that is, there is not enough jobs either in academia or industry for them.  Additional, the quality of PhD becomes skeptical in some countries. Like in China, the author said the quality is a problem but due to their booming economy, it is a lot easier find an academic job as compared to the US.  However, this is based on the data from 1993-2007. I think that the situation in China changes now probably.

Some interesting statistics in the reference. In the US, the number of Physical sciences PhD actually didn’t change from 1993-2007.  The number of tenured-track faculty was gradually decreasing and seems to affect the PhD holders in the life sciences. In German, most of PhD holders want to go to the industry. They consider PhD degree is nothing but an advanced training not only for academia but also for the wider workforce! I think it’s pretty opposite with my country. Additionally, as compared to Europe and the US, the difference of salary between PhD and Non-PhD in Asia is the largest! Probably this study wasn’t done for people in academia, because based on what I know in Taiwan, the professor position is a stable job with just-okay salary.

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