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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is a PhD worth $1 million? 

This the question I find myself facing. Sure, I would be doctor, and that has benefits. If I were ever in a situation were someone yelled "Is there a doctor in the house?!" I could reply "Yes! A doctor of economics!" The downside of course would be the 5-6 years I would spend getting it.

In economics, there is the concept of opportunity cost. What is your next best option? In my case, I have been thinking about financial engineering. I feel that my chances of getting into a solid FE (or CF or MF) program are better than for similarly ranked PhD programs. At most the program would take 2 years. The starting salaries are more than I would make with a PhD. By my calculations, I would need to expect more than $1 million of intangible value from a PhD to make it worth my while.

Is it worth it? I had to work with a colossal douche bag this summer who is currently a PhD student at an Ivy League university. He bragged that while all of his friends had gone on to such banalities as homeownership, he was living the good life researching intrafirm job mobility. Is this were I want to be in 5 years? No.

Could it be that the only people who go into economics fundamentally misunderstand the concept of opportunity cost? This study lends support to that idea. It sounds like a very dry joke, but I may end up saying that after a careful cost benefit analysis, I decided not to go into economics. Better than being a bearded roadapple bragging about his holy vow of poverty.

-Miguel Sanchez  10:52 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

Fuzzy Dunlop lives in Manhattan. He is more than capable of standing up to the stresses of a high crime urban environment.

Jess is a teacher. But have YOU given her an apple? No, you haven't. You should be ashamed of yourself. This crazy feminist currently rests her copy of Awakening in Jersey City.

Matt is a pariah, iconoclast, and professor of gambling living in Oakland.

Miguel Sanchez is not Lionel Hutz.

Daddy Brooklyn lives in Brooklyn. He hates Republicans, though he wouldn't mind being ensconced in the landed elite of New York City.

Paul just smoked my eyelids and punched my cigarette.

Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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