The Many Costs

Graduate school incurs a variety of costs, Chemjobber notes.

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Graduate students and

Graduate students and post-docs represent a form of indentured servitude; once committed, completion is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the US research profligacy is dependent on this. At the same time, this research community is much larger than the demand for new P.I.s...probably by a substantial geometric amount, so it is unrealistic to expect that each and every Ph.D. candidate (required by our R&D oligarchy) will end up as an independent career scientist.

The skills that one learns getting a Ph.D. (self-advocacy, focus, driving to completion, managing one's way through bloated bureacracies) are invaluable in all walks of life, as evidenced by the fact that 5 years out of graduate school or postdoc, less than 25% are doing the work they were trained for (I just made up that statistic to be high contrast!...90% of all statistics are made up on the spot)