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PhD vs MS

Elaine Ingham inghame at BCC.ORST.EDU
Tue Nov 9 19:51:32 EST 1993

On Tue, 9 Nov 1993, Carrie Schneider wrote:
> While you must have a PhD for an
> academic career, there are many positions in industry for MS
> and BS degree holders. In fact, a PhD may be a handicap for some positions.
> If a position is advertised for candidates with a MS or BS, most likely
> PhD holders will not even be considered, even if the position requires        
> independent reasearch skills. I think this must be because PhDs command    
> higher salaries, and the company does not want to pay if they can hire a 
> good person with an MS. So, it is worth considering what kind of job you
> want, than investigate the academic credentials required.
> Carrie Schneider                                                       

I have heard this kind of reasoning given to women quite a number of
times, (I was subjected to it myself), but I wonder how often men students are
given this kind of advice.  I also got the advice not to increase my
annual salary as a post-doc because I might price myself out of the job
market for post-docs.  None of the male post-docs ever got that advice! 
And I found it to be total $%^&!  If you're worth the salary, they'll pay it!
I agree that you need to think about what you really want to do with your
life, and to aim at the level of responsibility you want.  But too often,
women have so little confidence in their ability that they reach for the
lower goal, when in fact they have the ability to achieve the higher goal.

I personally dislike discouraging women from reaching for the Ph.D.
because there might be a job shortage for Ph.D.'s.  There might be job
shortages at the MS level.  There is a job shortage at the BS level!  

Elaine Ingham

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