15 thoughts on “Grad School

  1. Thomas Matula

    So there are few jobs at the big law firms. So what? Whatever happen to the days when lawyers worked for themselves? This assumes of course these graduates passed their state bar exams…

    But this also ties in to the debate Ed Wright and I had below on if there are too many scientists. Career fields which are dependent on government employment or government grants are likely to start declining as government budgets do. So they are poor choices. But then its up to students to do their own research about employment instead of depending on others. I know I did which is why I first switched out of Astronomy as a career goal, then Mining Engineering to follow business. Financial success on the first is too dependent on too many Ph.Ds. chasing too few federal dollars, while engineering is too much of a feast or famine career field.

    1. George Turner

      You were obviously limiting your employment criterion to astronomy jobs on this planet, but closer to the galactic core and in the globular clusters astronomers have always been in high demand, not to mention in colliding galaxies, depending on how far you’re willing to relocate.

      Of course mining engineers are in demand everywhere, especially on the ubiquitous prison planets, so your travel options certainly didn’t narrow.

  2. Karl Hallowell

    I know I did which is why I first switched out of Astronomy as a career goal, then Mining Engineering to follow business.

    Heh, that dates you. It’s been a long time since mining engineering in the US resembled a good choice.

      1. Karl Hallowell

        Have you mentioned that before? I was at NMT around 1990. There still were some prospects for MEs, especially overseas, but it looked pretty ugly.

        1. Thomas Matula

          Karl,

          I believe so. I was there from 1977 to 1983, with a year out to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo for some oceanography courses. My original reason for pursuing mining engineering was because I wanted to mine the Moon, then looked at the oceans. But I realized neither was an engineering problem but instead were ones of economics and business models, so I switched into studying business.

  3. jsallison

    As long as funding in the various faux and other disciplines is determined by the least qualified (the student) there will continue to be problems. If you want to go to school on the public dime then I’d say the public has an interest in seeing that there is a likelihood of a reasonable return on the investment of tax dollars.

    If you want to pay your own dime for your degrees in counterculture film viewing or grievance studies or, dare I say it, the LAW, than by all means do it. But is this stuff that we need to be borrowing money from the ChiComs to pay for?

    I suspect that a lot of students would benefit more from a student loan program that admitted that not everyone is suited or prepared for a post-secondary academic education. The skilled trades are going begging in many areas. Make money available for that, at least then the students would have a ghost of a chance of paying back their loans.

    1. Thomas Matula

      Jsallison,

      Except that student loans are a program the government actually makes money on, both from interest as well as the default fees. And since student loans are not able to be discharged by bankruptcy the student eventually pays, even if its decades later when the government deducts it from their social security payments. So its not really on the government’s dime, its more a modern form of servitude for students. That is the real scandal of it.

      1. jsallison

        Which means to me that gummint needs to get out of the student loan business. Student loans should not only be dischargeable in bankruptcy, but the school should be on the hook for at least a portion of said discharged debt. That’d focus their attention wonderfully.

  4. Chuck Divine

    The same thing is true in the so called hard science fields. It takes years to get that Ph.D. Now there is the addition of post doctoral studies. Would you like to be a “student” at age 34, working long hours for little money? People wonder why people are avoiding STEM fields. The powers that currently be don’t want to hear that it is because STEM people have lousy lives.

    Then there is “business” or, as I am now spelling it, “busy ness.” People get out of business schools not knowing important things about how people work together in major organizations and lots more.

    1. Larry J

      Time was when people didn’t go for MBAs and other advanced business degrees until they had many years of working experience. All to often today, graduate school is a few more years of prolonged adolescence to avoid having to make your way in the working world, assuming you can get a job.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Larry,

        Many business schools still require 2 years of work experience before admission to an MBA program. I know nearly all of the MBA students I taught were already working and taking classes as non-traditional students.

    2. Thomas Matula

      Chuck,

      I agree. Also don’t forget the role of government budget cuts. I read that when Congress scrapped the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas in 1993 it wipe out about 2,000 jobs for physicists, the price a field pays when its depended on government funds. That is why the planetary scientists fight the budget cuts at NASA so hard. Without NASA that field would virtually disappear in the U.S. except for a handful of tenured faculty.

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