Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The market worth of a PhD

Half an Acre had a post a few days ago about the financial hardships of grad student life (thanks to Ancrene for reminding me of that just before I wrote this). Anyway, I've just realised how much better things won't get when I graduate:

I just discovered that the payscale for casual and sessional lecturing and tutoring here goes up for people with a PhD by a whole—wait-for-it—$5 an hour.

I guess it adds up fairly quickly if you are doing a lot of hours.

I really hope it adds up quickly.

And I hope I can get a lot of hours.


Weekend_Viking said...

I find that in geology, my phd is a negative - I get a lot of rejections because 'you're over qualified' and I also get the expectation that because I have a phd, I must be management material, which just leads to bad miscommunications happening, because I don't have any qualifications or training in business management, and don't really want to be a manager, even if it's managing rock stuff.

Mind you, if I bothered spending about twenty grand in setup costs for the microscopes and gear, I could charge myself out at 200 to 300 dollars the hour as a mineralogist. But not good for my bad eye, even slightly.

StyleyGeek said...

Yeah, I think that outside academia in general, a PhD has negative worth :)

You don't want to manage rocks?

Jana said...

I think that in Germany, a doctorate does make you more attractive to industry. Most of the members of corporate boards have doctorates, and, though they're a different generation, that's still going on. It remains to be seen whether the MBA will replace the doctorate in industry, though I don't think it will, in Germany, any time soon.

In Switzerland, the doctorate isn't seen as necessary, but I don't think it's a negative. I'm curious to see what will happen when I get to Australia and I'm trying to set up in business with a foreign doctorate in an unrelated subject. In fact, I'm not even sure whether it's a plus to put it on my business card. What do you think?

StyleyGeek said...

I think in your particular case it might be an advantage. Any degree in your field, including a PhD, although not directly related to what you will be doing, is probably seen as a guarantee that you are smart and understand how the world works.

I guess when I said a PhD was a negative, I was thinking of Arts degrees mainly, and that people with a PhD in Arts are often seen as "Ivory Tower" academics who are out of touch with reality (and maybe not that smart either, since otherwise they would have left with a BA and started earning real money!)