A recent article in The Economist, entitled “The Disposable Academic: Why Doing a Ph.D. is Often a Waste of Time,” questions the relevance of the Ph.D. degree for many who now invest the 5+ years to secure it.

The author notes that demand in academia for Ph.D.s hasn’t kept up with the supply, leading to a glut in many disciplines. And while the earnings premium for a Ph.D. over an “average” bachelor’s degree is 23 percent per year, the differential over a master’s is just 3 percent, with the master’s student having three or more head start income-producing years.

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