Stress of advanced degrees

The cost and risk of committing 8 or more years in pursuit of a PhD is more stressful and demanding than many realize. This study indicates that PhD candidates are twice as vulnerable to mental health problems as other well-educated individuals. My last PhD student just left for his first tenure-track job and after watching many students go through the process, I understand the stress that is involved. I suppose academic institutions allow more students to take on the process than is wise. Some would argue we do this to support our own needs for research colleagues and this would be one way to spin the logic. I suppose this can happen, but not in my personal experience. If there is a negative here, it is probably most often not asking potential students to consider the odds that exist. PhD students bet big on a job being there and they being able to compete.

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