Why I’m Quitting My PhD – An Economic Argument

Big Red X Over a Degree and Graduation CapMeet Jill. Jill has a Master’s degree, works an average job and makes $60,000/year. She is loyal to her company, and they reward her with an annual average increase of 3%/year over the course of her 30 year career. Jill is a diligent saver, and every year saves 20% of her gross income. Over the course of 30 years, through financial up and downs, she earns an average 5% annual return. At the end of a 30 year career, Jill has a retirement portfolio valued at $1.14 million dollars.

Meet Sarah. Sarah is a PhD student at a Canadian university. She is funded and receives $20,000/year over the course of her 5 year degree. Because she is essentially making minimum wage and just barely supporting herself, she doesn’t accumulate any significant savings. Continue reading

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