More on the Education Bubble
Mangan’s has a good story how unprofitable it has become to get a Ph.D:
The Ph.D Bust: America’s Awful Market for Young Scientists—in 7 Charts, from The Atlantic. Executive summary: if you have a PhD in just about anything, go ahead and commit seppuku now. But our leaders think we have a shortage of PhDs, so we have to make it easier for them to get in and for those already here to stay. This will of course further undercut the ambition of any American citizen to obtain a doctorate.
The chart in the article shows that the average post-doc makes around 40 grand a year. So a, say, Chinese PhD will gladly accept such a position, while the American will see this and understand (hopefully) that ten years of higher education just aren’t worth it. Another contributing factor here, I believe, is the blind encouragement to further education by those in academia. Most professors and counselors will never utter a discouraging word to anyone remotely qualified to study. This is understandable, as there’s a huge conflict of interest: they can’t go around warning people off of the area in which they make their living.