Who are the PhD students?
Universities have discovered that PhD students are cheap, highly motivated and disposable labor.
Why universities want more PhD students?
The more bright students stay at universities, the better it is for academics. Postgraduate students bring in grants and beef up their supervisors’ publication records.
Are there enough PhDs?
There is an oversupply of PhDs… The fiercest critics compare research doctorates to Ponzi or pyramid schemes… America produced more than 100,000 doctoral degrees between 2005 and 2009. In the same period there were just 16,000 new professorships.
Why there are too many foreign-born PhD students?
In some countries, such as Britain and America, poor pay and job prospects are reflected in the number of foreign-born PhD students… Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labor also keeps wages down.
How many finish their PhD?
In America only 57% of doctoral students will have a PhD ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%.
Why some PhD students don’t finish their study?
Research at one American university found that those who finish are no cleverer than those who do not. Poor supervision, bad job prospects or lack of money cause them to run out of steam.
What happens after earning a PhD?
PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master’s degrees. Over all subjects, a PhD commands only a 3% premium over a master’s degree.
There is a glut of postdocs too.
In Canada 80% of postdocs earn $38,600 or less per year before tax—the average salary of a construction worker. The rise of the postdoc has created another obstacle on the way to an academic post. In some areas five years as a postdoc is now a prerequisite for landing a secure full-time job.
One study shows that five years after receiving their degrees, more than 60% of PhDs in Slovakia and more than 45% in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain were still on temporary contracts. Many were postdocs. About one-third of Austria’s PhD graduates take jobs unrelated to their degrees. In Germany 13% of all PhD graduates end up in lowly occupations. In the Netherlands the proportion is 21%.
Keep in mind that these grim numbers about PhDs is in industrial countries where both academic and industrial institutes hire PhDs. In the Arab world, a PhD holder can only work in universities since industrial research institutes barely exist.