Hey, you sick bastard, not THAT dilemma.
PhD’s are also known as Doctorates of Philosophy which are usually awarded in succession of the master’s degree. Although if we’re going along with titles, Master sounds a hell of a lot more badass than Doctor. Then again, if we take philosophy in this case literally, Nietzsche was a pretty big pimp. Enough shenanigans.
With competition rising, education levels too are rising. No longer is a bachelor degree worth much value. In fact it’s often taken for granted that you have one. Unless it’s part of a professional program (Law, business, pharmacy etc.) then you usually won’t be able to do much with it. In fact very often it won’t even distinguish you. People with work experience but no education will be taken first, and often individuals will get jobs based on who they know and not their education. This means that many individuals are going higher up the education ladder, getting master’s and in some cases even PhD’s. In the last 20 years PhD holders have increased about 40% in OECD countries. Forty percent in twenty years is absolutely insane. Sure that’s across a whole slew of countries, but it’s still astronomic.
What does this mean then? Well first off, there’s nowhere to go after a PhD, so we might have finally hit our academic ceiling (hopefully – 10 years is enough,) Perhaps we may see an introduction of new professional schools for many professions (Psychology, biologists, and physicists.) In fact, that’s exactly what I think should happen. Back in the olden times they would apprentice people, who would shadow a professional and learn the trade from a young age. This is good for a number of reasons. The first is that the individual will learn much more and much faster with one on one, and actually gets hands on work. The individual doesn’t waste time learning unnecessary subjects (majority of our education up to and even sometimes including master’s or professional programs). It also holds the amount of individuals coming into the system at a maintenance level. If only one person can accept one or two others as a student, then the workforce wouldn’t flood over. You can see a similar system in the police force for example. Although professional schools offer this now, they offer very little hands on experience compared to an apprenticeship program. Residency in medical school may be the only thing I can think of that comes close (and it does come very close.)
This would guarantee PhD’s with jobs, make the work force less of a shock to the system, and make their degrees applicable to actual work experience rather than a certificate that says I’m a hard working individual with lots of knowledge about application but no application knowledge. It also would grab kids out of high school who still have passion that hasn’t been sucked out by the dirty strumpet that is university.
Just something to think about. Oh yeah, and by the way, I’m not suggesting all professions should apprenticeship (be honest with yourself English, philosophy etc. PhD’s – you’re not practicing a profession.)