Is it guaranteed when you receive a Ph.D., a lucrative job will be waiting for you?
Nothing is certain in this world, and a Ph.D.’s marketability is no exception. Some studies appear to show the opposite to be accurate. It’s been shown that the odds of becoming a millionaire decrease with the level of schooling one has.
The rule of supply and demand affects every industry and every employment. Many high school students would plan on earning PhDs in biochemistry if they knew that doing so would lead to well-paying jobs after graduation. Those students who are two or more years behind the pipeline will be out of luck once this crop of graduates enters the labor market. Our generation experienced precisely this.
Getting screwed by automation is possible. In past there was a tremendous demand for X-ray crystallographers. Some really advanced arithmetic was involved in analyzing the data, so you’d need to be a genius to get it. Now you just need to insert the crystal into the device and hit the “Run” button. Have lunch. When you return, the protein structure will already be 3D printed.
If your employment depends on receiving a government grant, that assistance might be cut at any time. Even if you manage to get a post on the tenure track, like that of an assistant professor, good luck getting any money for your research. You will not be granted tenure. The question then becomes: what? If you are one of the many recently laid-off assistant professors searching for new employment, you should know that the best positions will go quickly. Realizing too late that you should have been a high school teacher right after graduation is a harsh reality.
You can never be confident of the results of any choice you make. No one is entitled to a particular outcome, even if they believe they earned it through hard effort and careful preparation. You’re rooting for a specific result. Taking calculated steps will help you out tremendously. Certain ill-considered activities might make it difficult or impossible to reach one’s goals.
We live in an unfair world. A guarantee is a legendary creature; you are chasing a unicorn if you desire one. If getting a Ph.D. is a prerequisite for achieving your goals, by all means, inquire extensively and, if necessary, pursue further academic study. But you should be ready to accept crap jobs for little pay to get the experience and esteem of your peers required to even have a chance at those aspirations! And if your goals still crumble after years of hard work, be ready to choose a new route in life. Also, it would be in your best interest to broaden your horizons and gain knowledge in areas beyond your chosen field. Especially in the modern world, education is the key to opening doors. Still, employers are also looking for flexible individuals who can work with others from various walks of life. Try your best. Stay healthy! Keep your mind open to new information at all times. However, dedicate time and effort to network and demonstrate your skills to people in hiring positions. You may find yourself with an email like, “based on our discussions, we feel you would be a perfect fit for our research group/company, and we would like to have you over as soon as you submit your thesis or sooner, if possible!” in your inbox before you even finish your thesis.