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Joseph Hebert
12/08/05 11:37
Read: 557 times
Okemah, Ok
United States

Msg Score: +2
 +1 Informative
 +1 Good Answer/Helpful
#104898 - Do the math
Responding to: Erik Malund's previous message
Hi Norman,

I have a Ph.D. in physics. If you are thinking of getting a Ph.D. as an investment, I suggest you do the math. Consider how much it is going to cost you compared to how much you will make. If you're familiar with financial calculations, set up two cash flows and look at their net present values (NPVs). In the first one, put (as negative cash flows) the tuition you will pay and the wages you will be giving up to complete a Ph.D., followed by (as positive cash flows) what you would expect to make as a doctor once you graduate. In the second, put (as positive cash flows) the wages you could make right now. When estimating these cash flows remember to adjust them each year for raises, inflation, etc.. Do this in a spreadsheet so you can make side by side comparisons. Play with different assumptions about how many years it will take you to graduate, and how much you will make as a doctor. I think you will be quite surprised at how much you would have to make as a doctor in order to break even in any kind of reasonable time frame.

Concerning your ambition to work your way into management, I am reminded of many of the people I used to work with at the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas. Most of the scientists and engineers wanted to work their way up into management. I do not share their dreams. The reason I got the degrees I did was so that I could do what I do, research and development. I would suggest that if you ultimately want to be an administrator, to be in management, major in business administration or management.

This should also tell you something about what will make the cost of a Ph.D. justified. It ain't financial.

List of 9 messages in thread
Any PHDs or Post graduates here ?      Norman Pianti      12/07/05 05:03      
   PhD, optoelectronics      Jan Waclawek      12/07/05 06:14      
      well..      Norman Pianti      12/07/05 07:14      
         ever been east of Prague?      Jan Waclawek      12/07/05 07:19      
            me too.      Steve M. Taylor      12/07/05 07:57      
   probably the wrong address      Erik Malund      12/07/05 07:40      
      Do the math        Joseph Hebert      12/08/05 11:37      
   How to get a PhD        Mahmood Elnasser      12/08/05 12:26      

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