Executive Power

Ten O'Clock Links

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* The trouble with grad school.

* The conservative critique of the presidency.

* "Private nationalization" in Italy.

* Sex offenders on MySpace: doing the math.

* The persistance of the zine in the digital era. (See this too.)

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  1. The graduate school article really needs to take into account graduate studies in the sciences/engineering. As a graduate with a B.S. degree, I’m getting Ph.D offers from universities waiving tuition and offering stipends of up to $27,000 – not a windfall but much better than having no salary while continuing my education.

  2. Hmm. The grad school article pointedly neglected the worst aspect of going to grad school: having to spend time around other grad students. That’s a big enough downer right there.

  3. Just Say No to getting a Master’s degree! I wish I did. Getting my postgrad degree was the single biggest mistake of my adult life.

  4. Just Say No to getting a Master’s degree! I wish I did. Getting my postgrad degree was the single biggest mistake of my adult life.

    I guess it’s all in what it’s in and/or how you apply it.

    I’m glad that I got mine, as it opened doors for me that would have been closed with my measly, dime-a-dozen undergrad degrees.

  5. Jennifer – you’re a journalist, right?

    Just for curiosity’s sake, did you get an MFA?

  6. Getting a Masters of Library Science is merely an exercise in surviving boredom. If you can do that, it’s a cinch. (I am the walking wounded.)

  7. Getting a Masters of Library ScienceBeing an adult is merely an exercise in surviving boredom.

    Fixed.

  8. Currently getting my M.A. in Economics, a field where my only real prospects with a Bachelor’s are probably working as a loan officer at a bank or working in some company’s marketing department. Considering the banks are currently in the toilet and I’m not a person geared toward the very extroverted nature of marketing, grad school seemed like a natural choice. Sure, I’ll be 35K more in the hole by the time I’m out, but having an M.A. opens up the doors a lot wider, and I’ll finish with enough extra classes to walk out of my program as a Ph.D. candidate.

    Sure, grad school might not be for everyone, and in some cases it’s more harm than good, but for those of us with the general disposition toward academic endeavors and in disciplines where graduate and post-graduate study is highly valued, it’s really a no-brainer.

  9. I agree with #1 and #8 in the article. Like brules said though, its different for science/engineering grad schools (#2-#7 dont apply).

    The period of time I was pursuing a PhD, I effectively had a low wage job, so that part wasnt a problem.

  10. Well, someone had their Cynical Wheaties this morning.

    It’s the one with a crying Mencken on the box.

  11. Did anybody else read the Italy article? It sounds like Berlusconi is trying to become a Putin.

  12. It’s almost noon EST. Are we being spared of Friday Funnies?

  13. 1982: Associates degree in telecommunications from a community college.

    2009: Manager of Operations for a major network distribution outfit. And it is my third broadcast management position over the last 15 years.

  14. It really depends on where in the business cycle you graduate.

    If you finish during a recession, there will be few job prospects. After the recovery, it will still take an extra few years for the economy to soak up the unenployed with experience. During that period, your only prospects are unskilled and semi-skilled positions.

    By the time the economy is ready to hire recent graduates, too much time will have passed, and your degree will be worthless. Employers will pursue new graduates and not those with four years of failure behind them.

    Happened exactly that way to me.

  15. Jennifer – you’re a journalist, right?

    That’s the term I use when trying to impress people, yes. “Underpaid art reporter who uses her Sunday column to blow off anti-authoritarian steam” doesn’t sound nearly as frou-frou.

    Just for curiosity’s sake, did you get an MFA?

    No, Master of Science in English with an emphasis in writing. I had no idea I was getting a Master of science rather than art until I got the certificate in the mail and saw the letters “MS” rather than “MA.” Apparently this is because my thesis was some original writing rather than a term paper about someone else’s work.

  16. It really depends on where in the business cycle you graduate.

    I’m graduating with an MS in 12/2010, so that’s not fun to hear.

  17. Getting my postgrad degree was the single biggest mistake of my adult life.

    Apparently you haven’t gotten married.

  18. Grad students are basically slaves, which is why it’s racist if you depict them as chimps. Haven’t you people learned anything?

    “Orlando, you can’t be a pilgrim. The pilgrims had snowy white skin to match their pure Christian souls. They didn’t sacrifice coconuts to their monkey gods.”

  19. Are we being spared of Friday Funnies?

    Evidently we’re in another post-humor period.

  20. The author seems to be of the opinion not only that dodging the recession in graduate school is a bad idea (I sort of agree) but that it would be a bad choice to go to a graduate school no matter what.

    Sorry, medicine still seems like a good career even with all the problems. And, while there are problems, it is not an economically risky decision. Good physicians will find jobs in some market, and won’t be starving. You may not be rich, for the amount of education and level of intelligence and work required, but it’s not a risky job, generally. That may be the stupidest thing I’ve read, calling it risky. If it’s a job you’ll enjoy, go for it. (Of course, there are many reasons why it might not be the job that people who want to be doctors are hoping for. But still, economically risky? BS)

  21. You may not be rich, for the amount of education and level of intelligence and work required, but it’s not a risky job, generally.

    Well, not risky for you. Your patients, OTOH . . . .

    As for the economic risk, if you factor in

    (a) the current cost of getting your MD,

    (b) throw in a couple (or more) years of deferred earnings while you get your specialty board/subspecialty fellowship, and then

    (c) the definite possibility that you will be earning on a pay scale set by the federal government under some kind of universal health care.

    Well, that’s a lot of up-front cost, delayed return on investment, and uncertain return on investment. To me, that’s risky.

  22. To me, that’s risky.

    The question is whether it’s an acceptable risk based on your own degree of risk aversion… (sorry, been studying for a midterm in Uncertainty And Information)

    That being said, if you considered the (c) part of your argument as particularly likely, you’d have to assume that one would have to be risk-neutral (even risk-loving!) to take that proposition.

  23. Well, let’s put it this way. I think there is a high opportunity cost for going into medicine. If you don’t enjoy the profession, it’s pretty painful. But I do not see it as financially risky. It just might not be worth it to someone because of the high opportunity cost.

  24. I applied to grad school. The assholes said I had to go to college and get a bachelors first.

    Elitist bastards!

  25. Are we being spared of Friday Funnies?

    Evidently we’re in another post-humor period.

    Humor has been abolished for at least the next four years. It would be unseemly to be seen to be amused about anything to do with our grave and earnest Democratic leaders.

    As for the Republicans, they keep come up with the same old lies about being for small government, so who can laugh at them when their material is so stale?

  26. Spoonman,

    If you are currently working in a related field, thee is nothing to worry about.

    However, if you are going to graduate with little related experience, I would pospone graduation a couple years. Perhaps working full-time and going to school part-time.

  27. it’s always worth it to go back for an advanced degree – so long as you’re capable of making it worthwhile. there’s a certain amount of management of expectations which must be done when getting an advanced degree. i can’t count the number of law students i have met who, despite having no work experience, engaging in endless facebook sessions during class and consequent “C” averages, are incredulous that they have not lined up a six-figure job upon graduation.

  28. < smugness >

    Wait. You mean that people pay for graduate school?

    That is some serious insult to injury.

    < /smugness >

    Now if only I could get a real job…

  29. RE: the Simon Reynolds article. Those of you interested in the vagaries of print culture are encouraged to check out my wife’s blog (and she’s been to grad school TWICE): http://neatneatneat.wordpress.com

    That is all.

  30. When I applied to grad school, both Cornell and Rutgers accepted me, but only Rutgers offered to pay tuition and a stipend. I figured the knowledge was worth the time, but not the debt, so I went to Rutgers. I’m glad I didn’t go to Cornell. The coursework for both programs was on the theoretical side of biology, without many industry applications. My advanced degree impresses plenty of people at social gatherings, but it makes employers in many fields label me as “over qualified”. Having worse job prospects after graduation than before graduation is bad enough. At least I didn’t go into debt for it.

  31. My advanced degree impresses plenty of people at social gatherings, but it makes employers in many fields label me as “over qualified”. Having worse job prospects after graduation than before graduation is bad enough. At least I didn’t go into debt for it.

    Ain’t that the truth.

    But, on the other hand, one can infer something about the working conditions at the jobs you’re not even being considered for. Some of them you probably only want if the alternative is ditch digging…

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