I read this article from PhD Octopus just now and was reminded of a post I made a while ago lamenting my decision to pursue an MPhil. I was instantly worried that someone, somewhere, might have interpreted it as ‘grad school sucks’ (I’m fairly certain it didn’t come off that way, but the internet is a magical place…) Lest anyone think that my current frustration with academia should be translated as ‘don’t go to grad school’, I would like to clarify that I made a decision that wasn’t right for me and that I think my frustrations with academia are not that it exists and people want to do it (that would be silly), but that academics often don’t try to show their worth to their fellow citizens. Academia and Grad School certainly generate research and students who are worth quite a lot to their fellow citizens; I think it’s the lack of outreach that has caused the ‘anti-intellectualism’ that is creeping in to our (dare I say it?) politics and mentality. And hey, if you’re the lucky person who manages to get paid to study Greek Vowels for the rest of your life and you love every second of it, then I think you’ve probably done well.
This is a good article, and I definitely encourage those who feel the calling to absolutely go to Grad School. (I hope at least 5 people twitched at the use of a split infinitive there. Call it masochism, but I find it helpful to intentionally (here I go again) defy prescriptive rules that I sill find myself trying to correct.)