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Fordham University

PhDs need real jobs too

PhDs need real jobs too

People who study for doctorates in the arts and sciences are typically driven by love — for a particular historical period, author or field of inquiry. But graduate school isn't just a place to dive into 18th century novels, Medieval art or neurobiology. It's also, necessarily, a place to prepare for a career.

Most graduate programs encourage their students to set their sights on jobs teaching or conducting research at a college or university. They also endorse the notion, whether intentionally or not, that taking a position outside of the professoriate is some kind of failure.

That's insanity. It takes nine years on average for students to obtain a doctorate in the...