banjo wrote:I'll stand by what I said in another thread: PhDs in the humanities are an infinitely worse idea than a T14 JD. You might not have to deal with debt, but you'll lose 6-9 years of your twenties with abysmal job prospects. A PhD in biostatistics is probably a different story, though.
Disagree. If you're clever about it, you should get your PhD done in 4 years. That's nothing if you're debt free.
But I'll tell a story since I'm here. A friend of mine has a PhD in mathematics from an unprestigious state school, and he's currently employed as an adjunct there. He's been looking for two years for anything else, but no one wants a pure math PhD, there are no practical applications for him. So now he's looking into teaching high school. Which is actually pretty decent if he finds a job in a public school, and of course he has no debt.
4 years would be a rarity.
At least in the humanities and social sciences, four years is quite rare. Consider that you take two years worth of coursework minimum. From there, you draft a research prospectus that often requires reviewing the past X years of all the scholarly work in that specialty and then go out and conduct your research (sometimes having to teach to support yourself too). ...My friend with a humanties type of Ph.D. had to do field work in South America to do data collection for his ethnographic research. That was at least a year. After he did gathered all his data from his research, he still needed to analyze it and write it up (another 1 to 1.5 years).
I think if a person enters a Ph.D. program with a master's already or if they're super smart and can fly through the coursework requirements in a shorter amount of time, then they may have a shot at four years. They'd have to be very efficient, hardworking, and know exactly what they want t odo. My friend took at least two years (AFTER his coursework) to just figure out a project to pursue. ....Although to be fair, he had problems. He hated his work. lol. And he said that the advisors he had weren't very supportive. So he wasted a couple of years reviewing the literature trying to find a project area he could contribute original research in. Some people can fly through the lit. review phase while doing their coursework and not have to spend extra time doing that part. Those are people who are both very smart and passionate. They were practically born to be Ph.D.s/professors. But they also are smart and efficient with their time. My friend, however, wasn't very efficient and wasn't that passionate about his Ph.D. He sort of fell into without much thought and has since been looking to teach middle or high school becasuse his dissertation wasn't that great and he had one mediocre publication. His overall time frame was more like:
Year 1: classes
Year 2: classes and pass field/candidate exams
Year 3: teaching UG's while doing lit. review
Year 4: teaching UG's while doing lit. review
Year 5: teaching UG's while having a personal crisis and fighting with his advisors and doing lit review and drafting his research prospectus
Year 6: goto South America and do ethnographic research
Year 7: analyze data and write it up
Year 7.5: analyze data and write it up and defend dissertation.
or something close to the above. ....I know he took probably a year or two longer, due to indecisiveness and burnout.