So, you want to do a Ph.D.?

Seb sent me this extract of a book. The extract is called So, you want to do a Ph.D.? As usual with this sort of book, it is delightful.

Here’s a fun quote:

One thing which is seldom mentioned is what happens to you after you finish the PhD. A classic story is as follows. A student focuses clearly, submits the thesis and starts looking for a lecturing job, only to discover that they need two years of lecturing experience and preferably a journal publication as well if they are to be appointable for a job in a good department in their field. If they had known this two years previously, they could have started doing some part-time lecturing and submitted a paper or two to a journal.

I haven’t read the entire book, of course, and I’m somewhat worried that the book might not be sufficiently focused on why one does a Ph.D. and might be a tad too cynical. Learning the rules is very nice and very important, and I wished I had learned them when it was time. However, there is also the issue of figuring out whether these rules make sense, and knowing when to break them. Well, I guess that learning the rules to begin with is a very good start.

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Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

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