Doctorate cutback is a reality check

At least 140 graduate programs across the country have halted admissions partly in recognition of the difficulty their students will have in finding jobs (“The Crisis of Unemployed Graduates,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 6).  It’s a blessing in disguise, despite pushback from purists in the humanities and social sciences.

I say that because in the seven years it usually takes to get a doctorate, students could be working and saving for their retirement.  Instead, they amass debt only to later find they are unemployed or working only for subsistence wages.  If undergrads are thinking of earning a doctorate in non-STEM fields, they would be well advised to learn those skills most in demand.  The prestige of the university is not nearly as important as the latter.

The situation is a long-overdue reality check that I hope more young people will pay attention to.  Otherwise, they’re going to find themselves deep in debt and disillusionment.

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