47 Comments
  1. Hey, that was me. I was 31

  2. Reply
    Educational_Car_615 August 5, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Wow. I logged in to Reddit for distraction, not these serious personal attacks.
    To add insult to injury, I am also several years late to this particular milestone!

  3. Jokes on you, I gave up after my BA in Studio Art.

    Poverty, speed run, 100% play through.

  4. Got a PhD in Neuroscience. It’s all absolutely true, science don’t pay well and comes with little security.

  5. I’m in academia myself and the situation is pretty sad. What’s consider as the pay ceiling for research staff is the pay floor for administrative staff in the same university!

    No wonder everyone’s going industry.

  6. Ouch. I come to Reddit to get away from these exact thoughts!

  7. Oh, it can continue into your 40s and 3 post-docs until you start a business and realize you have greater value *outside* of academia than in it.

    Academia is the biggest MLM scam currently going. More than 80% of all faculty positions in higher education are non-tenured/non-tenure track adjuncts and instructors. People sit in these jobs for years waiting to get a tenure track position. But because colleges and universities don’t need to fill tenure track jobs to have educators (due to the glut of PhDs) there are fewer available jobs. And for universities, there are incentives for faculty to graduate PhDs, both in order to get research funding and to acquire tenure, so graduate programs are increasingly limiting Master’s degrees and pushing stduents to get PhDs. Leading to a glut of PhDs that they can rehire as overworked, underpaid postdocs and adjuncts.

  8. At 30? I’m not gunna be able to start my PhD until I’m 28 lol

  9. Hey uhhhh if this is me at 37 am I fucked? I have five cats so like it can’t be that bad right? …right?

  10. You made the amateur mistake of pursuing something you love, you dumb idiot

  11. So I didn’t realize this post would get as much interest as it has (thanks for the award). I want to say to everyone worrying about their PhD, PLEASE GET SKILLS THAT CAN BE USED OUTSIDE OF RESEARCH. This is very important, because science is not a tenable long-term career for a lot of people, since it depends on continual grant funding. I began editing papers during my post-doc and I’m now a medical writer/marketer, I make a decent salary, I’m employed with a permanent position, and I LOVE my job. This is after 12 years of PhD and post doc experience. So there is hope after, just make sure you have a solid plan B.

  12. Hey I’m 32 and don’t even have the Ph.D.

    Awesome.

  13. I dropped Law university after failing twice the first year. Moved to Ireland at 21 y/o, I started working and saving money. Now in my mid-thirties I own a house and a flat (renting it).
    Being a drop-out was the best thing that happened to me.

  14. As a psych student in Germany what are my options?

    Research is horrible

    And therapy costs 20k to get a license and also pays horrible

    And I would rather work at McDonalds than do Organisational Psychology or something like that

    I feel like i took the wrongest of turns

  15. 31 year old here! Gonna apply to my Ph.D next year. No savings or long term plans as the world will collapse before thats viable

  16. My husband and I both have our PhDs in material science and we both work in industry. We still don’t make a whole lot. My SIL with a degree in interior design makes more than we do. I feel like science is yet another a field that takes advantage of people’s passion to pay less.

  17. I relate so much, except I am not nearly in this level. I got an MA.

  18. *Looks around and chuckles nervously

    You guys got degrees? All I have is Boxer-the-Horse complex.

  19. 33 and panicking about my PhD candidacy exam rn.

  20. I’m in this post and I don’t like it

  21. I’m like wait, you’re supposed to have your OWN retirement fund? Like, you have to live on even less bc you’re putting money away?? I’m 33 and have uh none of that.

  22. For me doing a PhD is way better than earning 4x as much in industry. I love the freedom I have and I love my field.

  23. Reply
    midazolam4breakfast August 5, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    This is exactly where I am, lmao. After this postdoc I’m quitting academia.

  24. A solid potential career to keep in mind is a patent agent. A lot of people assume you need to go to law school, but you don’t. You just need a bachelor’s or higher in a field of science and pass the patent bar test.

  25. Dang im ahead of the curve then, ptsd at 19

  26. A Master’s Degree is not a substitute for professional experience.

  27. I’m doing pretty fucking good then a. Got everything but the PhD and post-doc. Feeling pretty good about getting ready to have to live in a tent! Could be worse, I could be in debt too!

  28. PhD in biochem, graduated in 2000. This is why I left academia after my 1st post-doc. What should have been an entry to a faculty position has now become low wage labor.

  29. Reply
    ThatHermioneGranger August 5, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Thank god that I graduated with tons of publications and enough self-esteem left that I told our graduate director to fuck off when they suggested adjuncting. I knew if I couldn’t get a tenure track job that the system was screwed and I should leave. Best decision ever. Some of my friends are just getting tenure, but I make 2-3 times what they all do and more importantly am not a miserable person and can choose where I live.

    My only regret is the opportunity cost of getting my PhD. I wish I had used those 6 years differently.

  30. Academia in general markets degree programs to impressionable kids as setting you up with useful skills for a career but I think it’s mostly marketing hype. “Get our degree – become an engineer!” when they barely teach you anything you need for engineering and you have to learn it all on the job anyway.

    Academia drives you into debt which forces you to work.

    Small aside: I think CS and EE degrees are an exception to ‘most degrees are mostly useless’ because they can design/build/test/iterate while in school – they don’t need $100,000(+!) of equipment to practice on to reach basic industry standard proficiency.

    Khan academy (or other web based learning) + use whatever loan you would have gotten for school to start a business, at least that debt can be discharged in bankruptcy.

  31. The only reason I have any money and a good job now is because I dropped out of college and went into a high paying field. The experience paid off better than school work for an industry that is always changing. Most of my peers that went to school ended up exiting right in the shittiest recession in decades and have never recovered.

  32. > Don’t forget the PTSD

    And watch as society dismisses it because “PTSD is shell shock, not workplace stress”, or some other bullshit.

    Your average call centre or retail job would make you wish you joined the armed forces. Call centres have been some of my worst jobs ever.

  33. Reply
    Valuable-Island3015 August 5, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Why go to college? Too much money.

  34. Reply
    PretendInvestigator August 5, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    Speaking from experience, yes.

  35. Ok I’m 26, 2 years into my PhD, I’m in this tweet and I do not like it.

  36. Holy crap, I’m actually on track!

  37. With an enormous student loan you can never hope to pay back…

  38. That’s why PhDs are free. You the product.

  39. Never do a PhD.

  40. Jokes on you, I did all of that by 30 *without* going for the PhD!

  41. This is why you get a real job in industry instead of drinking the academia kool-aid.

  42. PhD to PTSD pipeline

  43. *To which* you’ve devoted the last decade of your life.

  44. We really need to teach people to have the foresight beyond acquiring the degree.

    The degree is step 0, not the finish line. If you’re going to pursue an obscure degree that has little to no market value, the only person at fault is you.

    Imagine someone said “invest $250K and I’ll give you a 25% chance that you double your money after 15 years,” would you take that bet?

    No?

    But you did? Why?

  45. PTSD? Fuck kinda PhD are you doing? In war crime?

  46. Stop trivializing PTSD. I was raped at age 6 and earned my CPTSD diagnosis. Seeing people use it as a term for something you get from something as mundane as higher level education is beyond annoying.

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