You must be really dumb to do a PhD


A conversation I had long ago with one of my Professors, himself a PhD.

Me: I am not sure if I am smart enough to do a PhD.

Prof: Oh, don’t worry about that. You are not smart if you are doing a PhD. In fact you are really dumb. Who else in their sane mind would waste 4 to 6 years of their life to search something which has already been searched (re-search), to then graduate and make 1/4th of the salary of what you would have made if you had continued on with your life after masters..

There are only two reasons why people do PhD.

  1. They want to confirm/verify/validate to themselves that they are smart. If that is the case what you need is a psychiatrist advisor, not a PhD advisor.
  2. You are bitten by a stupid bug which tells you that you want to teach for a living. To you I say: Refer salary statement above. The biggest trick devil ever pulled off was to convince the academic faculty is that they don’t deserve a good salary, just respect.

Either way you are screwed.



Mitch Paul Mithun

All in all am just another prick in the wall..