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Noah Smith

Nice Ph.D. Think It Was Worth It?

Getting a doctorate can be a real drag in more ways than you might think.
Are they bored or just grad students?

Are they bored or just grad students?

Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images

As you may have heard, the job market has been tough for the last decade and a half. Median wages have flatlined. One way to shelter from the economic storm -- at least, for those with the talent -- has been to get an advanced degree. Now, you could get a medical or a law degree, but those cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why not get paid to go to school? Why not get a doctoral degree?

An increasing number of people have been taking that option. The number of doctorates rose steadily throughout the 2000s: