Dr Freeman estimates that in 1966 only 23% of science and engineering PhDs in America were awarded to students born outside the country. By 2006 that proportion had increased to 48%. Foreign students tend to tolerate poorer working conditions, and the supply of cheap, brilliant, foreign labour also keeps wages down.
About one-third of Austria’s PhD graduates take jobs unrelated to their degrees. In Germany 13% of all PhD graduates end up in lowly occupations. In the Netherlands the proportion is 21%.
PhDs in maths and computing, social sciences and languages earn no more than those with master’s degrees. The premium for a PhD is actually smaller than for a master’s degree in engineering and technology, architecture and education. Only in medicine, other sciences, and business and financial studies is it high enough to be worthwhile. Over all subjects, a PhD commands only a 3% premium over a master’s degree.
Dr Schwartz, the New York physicist, says the skills learned in the course of a PhD can be readily acquired through much shorter courses. Thirty years ago, he says, Wall Street firms realised that some physicists could work out differential equations and recruited them to become “quants”, analysts and traders. Today several short courses offer the advanced maths useful for finance. “A PhD physicist with one course on differential equations is not competitive,” says Dr Schwartz.
The organisations that pay for research have realised that many PhDs find it tough to transfer their skills into the job market. Writing lab reports, giving academic presentations and conducting six-month literature reviews can be surprisingly unhelpful in a world where technical knowledge has to be assimilated quickly and presented simply to a wide audience.
I doubt this is for business PhD's. There is a big shortage of business PhD's especially Accounting and finance. The graduates of top school business PhD's make ridiculous salaries. If they go into industry, twice, thrice of their 150-200K salary. A friend of mine graduated from Texas A&M, and had two publications in JOF, and was made an assistant prof at Kellogs. 250K 9 month salary.
For technical PhD's (engineering,math,etc) I can understand the motif of the article.
$250K for nine months seems to be about right. Plus $40 K for summer support. Plus, after they get tenure, they get a lot of additional compensation from Executive MBA teaching and consulting work. Very few people outside of the Business Schools believe that these salaries are accurate. Also, a lot of them turn down these huge salaries and take positions in unversities in Romania, Turkey, Hungary, Chile, Portugal, Canada, France, UK, Singapore, Hongkong, and China. They are not really motivated by $. The people who are motivated by $ are working at Hedge Funds like Citadel or IBs like Barclays. Their salaries are truly ridiculously high even though the government takes 50% of their salary.
A "named" school is highly ranked and prestigious