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United States Education Science Technology

The Disappearing American Grad Student (nytimes.com) 268

There are two very different pictures of the students roaming the hallways and labs at New York University's Tandon School of Engineering. At the undergraduate level, 80 percent of the students are United States residents. But that number, The New York Times reports, falls below the 20 percent mark when you move to the graduate level (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled). From the report: The Tandon School -- a consolidation of N.Y.U.'s science, technology, engineering and math programs on its Brooklyn campus -- is an extreme example of how scarce Americans are in graduate programs in STEM. Overall, these programs have the highest percentage of international students of any broad academic field. In the fall of 2015, about 55 percent of all graduate students in mathematics, computer sciences and engineering were from abroad, according to a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations Board. In arts and humanities, the figure was about 16 percent; in business, a little more than 18 percent. The dearth of Americans is even more pronounced in hot STEM fields like computer science, which serve as talent pipelines for the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft: About 64 percent of doctoral candidates and almost 68 percent in master's programs last year were international students, according to an annual survey of American and Canadian universities by the Computing Research Association. In comparison, only about 9 percent of undergraduates in computer science were international students (perhaps, deans posit, because families are nervous about sending offspring who are barely adults across the ocean to study).
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The Disappearing American Grad Student

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  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:06AM (#55498451)
    I know so many people who graduated in a STEM field who then go for an MBA to advance their career.
    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:52AM (#55498811)

      As one of those STEP MBA, it comes down to a bunch of factors.
      1. Ageism: As a Gen-Xer, I am getting too old to be attractive to the hot new tech companies. They look at skills such as SQL, C, C++, FORTRAN, SOAP, Unix systems as skills of a bygone era. While GO and Swift and No-SQL, RESTFUL Services as the future, Even if I put this new stuff on my resume, it is covered by the fact that I know the Old stuff too, and people think I am just padding my Resume.

      2. Skill sets gap: What you study in Grad school vs. what the industry needs is quite different. If you code stuff too advanced then what the others can comprehend, then your code is mostly useless, because you will be stuck maintaining it, and not moving onto the new product, So you need to keep your skill at a level where the others can cover for your.

      3. Limited Promotion Chain: As a tech worker, you can only get so far up, until the company decides you are too expensive for what they need. So you need alternate non-tech skills to keep yourself as a valuable asset.

      4. Able to Talk the Talk: Having a technically competent MBA on your team is quite useful, as they can often explain things on how the bosses see things. Here is an actual Cost Benefit analysis of making your program run 10x faster, by fixing the indexing, at the cost of an 1 hour downtime. Present new ideas in terms of the company strategy. And being able to isolate the tech workers from a lot of the Executives bad decisions.

      5. A way out of tech: As part of ageism, there may get to a point where I will not be able to adapt to the new technology. So with my MBA I can go directly into management even in a different sector all together.

      • As people age, they also gain experience which is needed in management. But, I often see new people fresh out of school immediately looking to become management. They will work a year or two, and either head off to business school or take business classes part time. So many of them look to a STEM degree as a way into a career path, instead of STEM being the career itself.
      • Even if I put this new stuff on my resume, it is covered by the fact that I know the Old stuff too, and people think I am just padding my Resume.

        Just omit the unnecessary skills.

        If you're serious about job hunting, you should be sending a custom resume for each opening.

        Personally, I found it easiest to write up a huge "master" resume with all of my history and highlights. I update whenever I change jobs, undertake a meaningful new project, get promoted/transferred, or whatever. I trim it down and tweak it for each opening.

        Dropping from 5+ pages to a typical resume of 1-1.5 pages takes a bit of thought, and it forces me to think about how I present m

    • And why not? I went back and got a master's degree in CS almost 10 years ago. Although I enjoyed doing it, and my then-employer paid for it, and I learned a lot - career-wise, it was a complete waste of time. In fact, you have people like Aline Lerner (http://blog.alinelerner.com/how-different-is-a-b-s-in-computer-science-from-a-m-s-in-computer-science-when-it-comes-to-recruiting/) insisting that "an MS degree has been one of the strongest indicators of poor technical interview performance", so an MS in
  • Boss doesn't have one and he's a VP. Why should I pay for one?
  • Cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqorbit ( 3387991 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:09AM (#55498481)
    The cost of education has skyrocketed to the point that it may have just become a bad investment. The cost of graduate degrees if one is required to get student loans to complete leaves you with years and years of debt. If you aren't lucky enough to land a high paying job as soon as you complete you degree you are left struggling to make the investment in education worth it. Basic economics-high cost means people won't buy. Numbers will most likely continue to fall as cost rises.
    • Re:Cost (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:27AM (#55498605)

      The cost of education has skyrocketed to the point that it may have just become a bad investment. The cost of graduate degrees if one is required to get student loans to complete leaves you with years and years of debt. If you aren't lucky enough to land a high paying job as soon as you complete you degree you are left struggling to make the investment in education worth it. Basic economics-high cost means people won't buy. Numbers will most likely continue to fall as cost rises.

      Wish I had mod points to mod this up. I think this is it plus I've worked my whole work career in IT after graduating with a BS in Computer Science and I've never seen a real need even for people with a master's degree, let alone a PhD. I've known of cases where PhDs actually can be detrimental and people won't get hired because they are "overqualified". So with no real pressure to have to get advanced degrees to get jobs and some pressure against the most advanced graduate degree, yeah, pretty much it's only going to be rich foreigners and a small number of really determined Americans who are going to do this. Of course if you want more Americans with advanced STEM degrees, actually stopping the devaluing of the American IT worker might be a really good way to accomplish that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Cost is a factor, agreed 100%. I have a masters in Chemical Engineering, but couldn't get a job in that field. I've know 4 other Chem Eng. with the same problem. I now work it the IT field. And I'll tell you grad student is a fancy term for the word slave.

      But even when I was in grad school and trying for the doctoral program, I ran into a cost problem. Not my cost either. The foreign students pay more than American. To get into the doctoral program at the school I went to (Texas A&M), you have to a take

    • Re:Cost (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @12:09PM (#55499421)

      Ah, this misconception keeps being put out there. I agree that graduate education is generally a poor investment, but it's not because of the cost.

      A PhD in STEM typically does not require any student fees paid by the student. If your university is requiring you to pay fees out of pocket to do graduate research, you're at the wrong place. Run away very quickly. Not to put to fine a point on it, but in the US, the vast majority of STEM grad students are paid to go to grad school. More than that, if you're a potential immigrant to the US, the visa you need to be a student is much easier to get than what you need to work, and is almost always sponsored by the university.

      There is a cost to getting a PhD, though. You'll spend 3-8 years making a very low salary, working on a project that may not go anywhere, for a degree that in the end you may not get. Your experience will not directly translate into marketable skills, and may not translate into a higher salary.

      I have a PhD, and employ many scientists in PhD and non-PhD positions at a company. Our good junior scientists don't go to grad school because 1) they're paid at least double what they'd make as a grad researcher and 2) they see that in the real world, having a PhD does not translate directly into a better job.

      There is a societal cost to subsidizing STEM grad students. First is an over-supply of labor. Again, very simply: we have too many PhDs. We produce many more PhDs than there are PhD level jobs available. This has been discussed many times on Slashdot in the last few years. Second, universities gain extraordinarily cheap labor that is generally paid for by external sources (grants). This creates a strong downward wage pressure. It's very easy for a company to go to a very good university and pay a research team a fraction of the market cost for performing a study. I have to justify the value of keeping our IP in house to maintain our internal professional science team.

      The result is a job market that disadvantages higher education, and a higher education system that values grant winning more than job skills. In my field (physics) we've been on this downward spiral of growing disconnect between market and academy since the 1970s.

      • Re:Cost (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Drethon ( 1445051 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @12:40PM (#55499649)

        I'm working full time while pursuing a PHD. As a result, I'm getting paid significantly more than the cost of attending school but trading off a complete lack of time. I may not survive to graduation but so far the experience alone is worth it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      A bad investment for the individual perhaps, but society is in trouble if the supply of highly skilled workers decreases. That's why in most developed countries the cost is heavily subsidised for everyone.

      The idea of paying for someone else's education seems to upset a lot of people in the US, and increasingly in the UK too. They are usually the same people who complain that they have to wait a long time to see a doctor and then that doctor is foreign, but for some reason don't connect the dots.

    • I did the math, and even though I went to school a long time ago, when things were far cheaper, and even though I got 1.5 out of 2 graduate degrees paid for, it's still barely worth it. If I had gone on to be a master electrician, I'd out-earn my current career trajectory until my mid-50s. After that my education will likely put me quite a bit ahead, especially if I stick around working until I'm 70.

      With the student loans and the time spent in school earning negative money, making $15 an hour as an apprenti

      • By the time they are 50 most electricians have established businesses and 4 or 5 guys working for them and are doing paperwork and estimates.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:14AM (#55498497)

    Grad schools discriminate in favor of international students.

    Two key factors why:
    1) international students generally pay more money to the schools
    2) the people selecting admissions for grad school think "if I admit this unfortunate international student then they won't be sent back to their home country where conditions are much worse than the US"

    I have heard that second one straight from the mouth of an Associate Dean in a large US university's CS department.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Well if one person said so then clearly evey grad school program in every college must be exactly the same. *rolls eyes*

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:46AM (#55498761) Homepage

      I have heard that second one straight from the mouth of an Associate Dean in a large US university's CS department.

      Good old anecdata.

    • gop fix is to make us students pay the same and have uncapped loans with no bad credit discrimination

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by habig ( 12787 )

      Grad schools discriminate in favor of international students.

      Two key factors why: 1) international students generally pay more money to the schools

      At the undergrad level, where students are actually paying tuition, this is true: universities go out of their way to recruit international students who pay full freight. Without such students, domestic tuition would be even more than it is. Really.

      However, this article is about graduate students in fields where most of them are supported by assistantships, so the school gets teaching or lab minion time out of them rather than money. So: not relevant to this discussion.

      By the way, this is in no way n

  • by zifn4b ( 1040588 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:15AM (#55498507)

    Education is no longer about advancing human knowledge or you making a contribution to that unless you started out independently wealthy. Getting a higher education is largely about being more valuable in the job marketplace to obtain more income. The value proposition of a PhD or a Doctorate in this context is suffering due to the Law of Diminishing returns. The cost of college education has increased dramatically due to the high availability of student loans and the amount of additional income you get from having such a credential is not proportional to the cost. It seems to me, some people depending on their needs consider a Bachelors Degree or an MBA to be the sweet spot in terms of garnering the income for their life's needs.

    And you know... college is not the uber source of knowledge. If what you really seek is knowledge, you will always learn more from self-directed, focused study on the areas that you want to know more about. College is actually not the best source of information in my experience. Those with self drive will accumulate more knowledge faster without the college curriculum getting in their way.

    • by Streetlight ( 1102081 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:21AM (#55499067) Journal

      The cost of college education has increased dramatically due to the high availability of student loans and the amount of additional income you get from having such a credential is not proportional to the cost.

      I think you've got it a bit backwards. The increase in the need for student loans is because of the reduction in state support for public universities and colleges and a concomitant increase in the tuition necessary to pay for the education. Back in the early '70s and before, state government support paid for 70 to 75% of the cost of the education of in-state students with the remaining coming from tuition. Tuition was generally affordable by middle class families and there was not very costly financial aid for qualified students from less wealthy families. Out of state students paid the full cost, though some may have had scholarships to pay some of the tuition. For in-state students the largest cost was probably for housing and food. Things have changed dramatically since then with state government support generally amounting to about 20% of the cost of an education, if not less. Obviously, tuition for both in-state and out-of-state students has increased to make up the balance. Universities have also found a revenue source from international students who pay the full cost of their education who often get complete support from their governments. This source of income is particularly important for graduate programs in the laboratory natural sciences. Private schools have similar situations and students from not wealthy families need to find some kind of financial aid to attend them.

      When state governments find that revenue projections can't meet proposed expenditures the first thing that faces cuts is support for higher education. IIRC, this is exactly what happened last year in my home state, Colorado, when the proposed expenditures were something like $300 million short on the revenue side. This was the first thing out of the mouth of our Democratic governor. I guess legislature and governor managed the situation somehow.

      • > The increase in the need for student loans is because of the reduction in state support for public universities and colleges and a concomitant increase in the tuition necessary to pay for the education.

        That's certainly a part of it. But haven't costs risen dramatically [huffingtonpost.com]?

        If government support had stayed the same, would costs NOT have risen dramatically?

        > Back in the early '70s and before, state government support paid for 70 to 75% of the cost of the education of in-state students with the remaining c

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by buddyglass ( 925859 )

      Education is no longer about advancing human knowledge or you making a contribution to that unless you started out independently wealthy.

      Disagree. If you're brilliant and interested in academic research as a career then you can live reasonably comfortably by getting a Ph.D. and pursuing that goal, even if you aren't starting from a position of wealth. "Reasonably comfortably" does not mean lavishly.

      The value proposition of a PhD or a Doctorate in this context is suffering due to the Law of Diminishing re

      • by lgw ( 121541 )

        There are something like 25x the number of PhDs graduating than there are slots for new people in academia. Having as a goal becoming a tenured professor has become like having as a goal becoming a professional athlete: don't plan on it (which doesn't mean don't try).

        If your goal is a job in industry then a graduate degree can help with some jobs

        If your goal is a green card, then a masters degree is a definite win. Why is anyone surprised than most people getting masters degrees are prospective immigrants?

    • I don't mean to come off rude, but this post just sounds like someone bitter about how they couldn't afford to go to College trying to insist that College isn't that useful anyway (i.e just a case of sour grapes).

      The point of College isn't just to get people to read textbooks and other material at their own pace, which is what self-study is all about, but rather be a more structured way of learning things and ensuring that students actually learned what was taught and didn't just skim read the material f
  • It's the visas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kent.dickey ( 685796 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:16AM (#55498519)

    Let's say you're in China/India, and want to work in the US.

    You get your undergrad degree locally, and then come to the US to get a Masters. You then get to work for a few years on a visa (I think OPT-1), after paying for just 2 years of school. They could come as an undergrad in the US, but then you have to pay for 4 years of US school, which is not as good of a deal. This is the cheapest way to get a guaranteed work visa in the US--I would expect for some students, the schooling itself doesn't really matter, they are basically paying for the visa. And schools love it since they can get these students to pay full price for their Masters programs. The article itself mentions this visa program at the end in passing--but they miss the whole point.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      More than just full price...a lot of these students pay a premium, in some cases as much as 3X what the average American student would pay. And a lot of these students are on a full ride, whether it's paid by their nation of origin or their family. It's enough of a financial incentive for the education institution that they actively reserve slots and recruit students into these programs.

      It was enough that a close friend of mine had to shut down a very successful paid internship program for a defense contrac

    • Re: It's the visas (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This ^^ and, a number of people Iâ(TM)ve worked with used it as a means to get a degree recognized in the US. Their original school in their home country may be decent there but has zero name recognition here. Or the educational standards are different. So they get into a masters program here to get the visa and to get a degree that is marketable here.

    • US employers suspect (for good reason) that an undergraduate degree from many overseas universities means someone bought the degree, doesn't have a great education, and doesn't speak very good English. Picking up a graduate degree proves they are somewhat qualified and speak at least enough of the language to get by.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:22AM (#55498561) Homepage Journal

    It's cheaper to go to Germany and get it than it is to get it here in the USA, for example. And there's universities all over central and south america that are also excellent and maybe a goddamned order of magnitude cheaper. Maybe back when our schools were the envy of the world, it was worth it, but they were also a lot cheaper then, and that was also a long time ago.

    • Rankings [timeshighereducation.com] could be bunk, but the highest ranked university in Germany is LMU Munich, which is tied for #30. Eighteen U.S. universities are ranked higher, including five that are public. The highest ranked Central or South American university is the University of São Paulo in Brazil, which is in the 251-300 range. In my experience, if they want you, most schools will pay your way w.r.t. the Ph.D. Master's not so much, since it's viewed as a path to industry and not academia.
    • Yes, this is why people from all over the world are coming to the US for schooling. The article is about how US schools are full of international students. If your argument is accurate, it would be the other way around.
      • Yes, this is why people from all over the world are coming to the US for schooling.

        Two words: Student visa [internationalstudent.com] , which makes you eligible to get a year of work visa, which then establishes eligibility to get a longer-term work visa, and is thus also a path to eventual citizenship. The USA is still a better place to live than a lot of other countries. School is also an important place to do networking, so it's a draw even for people in more affluent or up-and-coming nations in certain fields.

      • Except that people from all over the world go to all kinds of countries for schooling. USA is not nearly the only country with international students.

    • It's cheaper to go to Germany

      Yes but how's that help you overcome American elitism and visa issues?

  • Not a new phenomenon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dtmos ( 447842 ) * on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:36AM (#55498683)

    When I was in EE grad school, back in the early 1980s, I was one of six US-born EE graduate students, out of 102 grad students at my major state university. When a friend of mine went through the same program in the late 1980s, he was the only US-born Ph.D. candidate in the same EE department.

    As a rule, the foreign-born graduate students with which I was familiar were smarter than I was and worked like dogs, frequently sleeping in the lab to avoid wasting the time needed to travel back to married student housing. They had and have my complete respect.

    • I went back for an MS in CS (at an American university) about 10 years ago - not only was I the only non-foreign student in most of the classes, I was one of only a handful of non-Indians. There would be maybe 50 Indians students, an Indian instructor, one Chinese girl, and blue-eyed, blond-haired, pale-skinned me glowing like a neon sign.
  • by jeff4747 ( 256583 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @10:47AM (#55498775)

    If I got a CS Masters degree, it wouldn't significantly affect my pay or my ability to get another job. If I got a PhD, it might, but the odds are not all that good.

    So why get one? "Love of learning" is handled by side projects that don't require sending off large tuition checks, and I can do that on a schedule that fits with the rest of my life.

    Want more STEM graduate students? You're gonna have to pay them more when they're done.

    • I found that a Master's degree helped me get jobs. Especially early on when I didn't have a ton of experience. My tuition was free, since (at the time) was a Ph.D. seeker with a fellowship. Only cost was the opportunity cost of not working an industry job, which was further offset by the fact that I had a (small) stipend.

      Most people pursue Ph.D.'s because they want to do academic research as their "day job" or because they're eying one of those fancy NFL money [nytimes.com] jobs in AI or finance.
      • by Ranbot ( 2648297 )

        I found that a Master's degree helped me get jobs. Especially early on when I didn't have a ton of experience.

        This is even more true when the economy is doing poorly and the job market is competitive, like it was for ~4-7 years after the 2007 recession (depending on the field). Students then were riding out the economic recovery period in grad school and improving their resume with an MS. The economy is doing relatively well again and STEM-field companies are hiring BS degrees, so having an MS in today's job market isn't as valuable.

  • Personally I'm getting paid too much to go back to school to get a graduate degree that "is required" to do what I do.
  • by Headw1nd ( 829599 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:01AM (#55498883)

    It's just economics: Grad school has become an export commodity. Since it's one of the few areas where the US has a positive trade balance with the world, I wouldn't complain too much. From my experience, foreign grad students are frequently paid for in their entirety by their government. Meanwhile as a US student, funding grad school was entirely my responsibility.

    It really depends on whether we are producing enough grad students, and if we feel grad degrees are important for our economy going forward. Foreign governments obviously feel American grad degrees are important to their economic growth and are willing to invest in them. If we agree, then we have to invest as well. If we don't, then we can consider grad degrees as mostly an export product, which is the direction we are headed in.

    • It's economics, but you're using the wrong economics.

      Back when the recession was at peak, we had news of more students going to grad school to avoid a job market with no jobs for them. Ride out the financial aid as long as possible and hope for the best. This is part of the labor force contraction effect.

      When the job market recovered, people started exiting college early--even without degrees--to get into now-open jobs. Now there's no reason to stay in school.

      This is part of the corrected model of M

      • This is a very good point. A strong job market directly competes with grad school for labor/students.
        • Yup, and it happened in 2012 [sbstatesman.com].

          The Malthusian theory of population has largely been abandoned for good reasons [economicsdiscussion.net], although we've seen population growth rate booms [gerrymarten.com] as a direct result of things like the Green Revolution in the 1920s--a time when we were reaching the limits for, of all things, food production and then released a whole bunch of agricultural technology only to have population suddenly double.

          Rather than play whack-a-mole, I simply point out a few things:

          First, that production scales until it hi

  • keep these guys (Score:4, Insightful)

    by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:01AM (#55498885)
    Completing a Master's or Ph.D. in a STEM field at a reasonably accredited U.S. university should guarantee a near-automatic offer of citizenship. To analogize to picking teams on the playground, these are the "ringers" you want on your team. They drive growth, and they're almost guaranteed to be net contributors with respect to taxes vs. social benefits.
  • by plague911 ( 1292006 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:16AM (#55499013)

    One of the main causes is that overseas transcripts are often outright lies. Bought and paid for, no questions asked.

    I have had many classmates and colleagues over the years whom I trust who were originally international transplants. Each any everyone of them when asked about the credibility or overseas transcripts of resumes has simply laughed and indicated they have no credibility. One of my friends recently had an issue with someone he hired from his own school back in India. The resume turned out to be fake, and the person who interviewed and showed up on day 1 were different people.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:18AM (#55499037)

    I'm an IT guy with a background in science...got a BS in chemistry way back in the day. The problem is that science is losing a lot of smart domestic people to investment banking, web startups, management consulting, etc. Foreign students come from places where scientists are revered, and that just doesn't happen in the US. When I graduated, there still was some room for a good career in the sciences, and I did consider it. But ultimately, I was kind of done with school at that point, had relevant work experience and chose to go with IT -- rather than slog through years of Ph. D. work to maybe possibly get a tenured faculty position.

    Tell your average 22 year old that they have the choice of spending years as a researcher and a tiny sliver of hope for a permanent position, OR, go spend 2 years getting an MBA, work for Goldman Sachs and never worry about money again, OR, go work for Facebook/Google and devise new algorithms for getting people to click on ads, OR, go work for Accenture/PwC/other management consulting firm and get paid handsomely to deliver PowerPoints to executives. Which would you choose?

    The only thing I can think of that might change this is a major world war with China or India that cuts off the supply of scientific talent willing to pursue this path.

  • No surprise there (Score:5, Informative)

    by damn_registrars ( 1103043 ) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday November 06, 2017 @11:24AM (#55499093) Homepage Journal
    The job market is rather abysmal for grad school graduates right now, particularly if they go to grad school with the ambition of some day being faculty somewhere with their own research lab and a teaching appointment. There are plenty of good jobs in industry for those who finish their master's or PhD but a lot of grad school advisors look down on those positions and encourage their students to do the same (for both the positions and those who take them). On top of that grad students - at least STEM PhD students - are paid on average $20-35k / year as grad students at most US schools which is terrible pay. Few students are able to live on that kind of pay for the amount of time that it can take to earn a PhD - and it doesn't get a whole lot better as a postdoc either (for those who want to make an attempt at the academic route).

    And on top of that a lot of grad schools conveniently forget to tell their students that junior faculty - not that many grad students make it that far - are averaging eighty hour work weeks at the big research universities right now when they are getting started. 40 hours goes in to the tasks you associate with junior faculty - teaching, research, assembling and running a lab - while another 40 hours per week goes in to preparing grant proposals. At many schools the junior faculty who don't pull in a substantial grant by their third or fourth year are promptly shown the door.

    The money isn't there, the job security is nonexistent, the job prospects are slim. Not many Americans are masochistic enough to go that way any more. Plenty of job tracks exist for those with 4 year degrees (or even less) that pay better and have better job security than those that open up for those with advanced degrees.
  • by Camel Pilot ( 78781 ) on Monday November 06, 2017 @12:19PM (#55499485) Homepage Journal

    In the current GOP Tax plan, they are seeking to tax Grad students on the Tuition waiver (usually in the range of 25k to 50k). This would wipe out the meager stipends that middle-class and disadvantaged students require to live.

    My son a Grad Student has a stipend of 20K at a school where the tuition waiver is worth 50k. He will have to pay taxes as if he were making 70K. He will have to drop out because he can't make it.

    https://twitter.com/ClausWilke... [twitter.com]

    They are attacking the middle-class and education all the while giving the rich a huge tax break by repealing the Estate Tax.

  • In Computer Science, I think this reflects the value of the degrees to the populations in question. US Citizens don't need a graduate degree to get a good job. Foreigners do. All those tech companies mentioned in the article hire BS candidates in droves, but are not able to get government approval to hire foreigners with the same paperwork, so the foreigners need an MS to get the same job. It is crap for rules and I'm not defending it, but I think that is all that lies behind this difference in the CS field
  • The economy is doing relatively well now and employers are hiring STEM students with a bachelor's degree, so the expense of getting an MS doesn't make the person much more competitive in the job market. I work for an engineering company and have been involved in hiring new staff prior to and after the 2007 recession. Prior to 2007 when the economy was doing well, entry-level applicants and hires were mainly BS degrees. Post-recession entry-level applicants and hires were mainly MS degrees, because students

  • My employer offers tuition reimbursement so they paid for most of my Master's. The process wasn't to onerous, I had to get my department VP to sign a form and I had to take "job related" classes, pay for them upfront and then get reimbursed when the grade came in. So I used my credit card, paid a little interest and did night school. At the rate of one class a semester it took a few years to get through, but the "sacrifice" was a couple of nights a week of not watching TV and playing video games. Honestly,

  • In Asian countries an advanced degree carries far more prestige than it does in the US. In the US, practical skills and team/people skills are weighed more heavily. Titles carry lasting bragging power over there. They tend to defer more to hierarchies and titles. Our "cowboy culture" is that if you can't stay on your horse, you'll eventually be booted off the farm. Loser PhD's still get prestigious do-nothing positions over there, especially in gov't jobs, which there are a lot of because gov't and industry

  • I am glad that I am at an age that I do not have to compete with foreign scholars. Family pressures, cultural expectations and a huge urge to get away from poverty creates eager students with an unreasonable drive to place highly in every field. They make fine scholars. I am also rather shocked that the US does not understand just how excellent foreign universities may be. Even in the US schools shine in places we would not expect to produce good schools. The U. of Texas has been active in bleeding edg
  • US students just aren't globally competitive for those spots. Their whole education has been dumbed down, and by the time they finish a STEM undergrad their GPAs are too low to apply to grad school.

    This is just a consequence of 15 years of No Child Left Behind. The pipeline was sabotaged. Instead of 15%-25% of a graduating class that can actually handle college level classes, they've all infantalized nincompoops who have no more ambition in life than to netflix and chill and tell people they're triggere

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