PhD vs MS

daniel a coury dcoury at
Tue Nov 9 23:22:49 EST 1993

Elaine Ingham writes:

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.


For what it's worth, my career goal has always been to get a job in industry
and I have been told by several industrial types (both with and without PhDs)
that having a PhD might be a liability for the same reasons Carrie Schneider
mentions. Of course, the academic types always tell me I need a PhD. So who
to believe? I'll let y'all know after I get a PhD.

I guess my point is that here is at least one man who has not exactly been
discouraged from getting a PhD, but advised strongly to think about why I
should get one. That's not to say women aren't given the same advice but for
different reasons. 

I firmly believe what Dr. Ingham mentions: 

If you're worth the salary, they'll pay it!

What do other people (of both genders) on the net think?

* Dan Coury                          *
* Department of Plant Sciences       *
* University of Arizona              *
* Tucson, AZ 85721                   *
* E-mail: dcoury at *

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