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As a PhD graduate, I have to define this question before answering it. If you didn’t know what a PhD degree is, probably this question is irrelevant to you and you should stop reading……Yeah, this is my attitude. XD

Well, no!!

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy! It has very little to do with the subject philosophy most of the time but the method of philosophy. A person who has a PhD means (cough, cough…) one is capable to analyse a research question from the perspective of the specialized subject. Usually, the research question is something new and therefore, a PhD graduate is usually someone who is not only knowledgeable but also innovative!

The average length of PhD study varies, from 3 years to more than 10 years! Nowadays, the length of a PhD in life science is around 4-6 years….if not more….

What can a PhD graduate do? Almost everything! From the road to be a professor, to do research in industry, to start a business, to delivering pizzas…..I meant, nothing! The thesis or research of a PhD graduate is very narrow and it is usually far from reach the point of commercialization. In short, after 4-6 years of training in research, you know nothing about reality! The only profession you can do is probably postdoc, which is not a degree but it is widely considered as a “non-real” working experience, at least in the industry.

So, what is postdoc about? Postdoc is the extension of PhD in academic research without having the stress to graduate in a limited time frame but having the stress to publish before the money run out. Basically, a postdoc does what every other PhD student does, except they are more experienced. So usually, how much was postdoc paid? According to economist, postdoc salary was comparable to a construction worker which does not even require a bachelor degree! Yes, I know….there is a slim chance for a PhD graduate to be a Professor which is paid very well….Is this the case? In probably less than every ten postdoc, there are one person end up being a Professor in the university. 10% chance is not that slim right? Seriously YES! It takes 4-5 years to finish the postdoc training before one happened to get an offer of Assistant Professor which is NOT guaranteed!

It could be like 60-140k per year depends on where you were working.

From a financial perspective, it is not a good idea to pursuit such a career because of the slim chance of getting in and the long waiting time before you get the real food. However, if someone considered the interest of being a Principal Investigator who leads his/her own research, it may be the (only) choice.

to be continued…