The article I’ve posted below circulated among the grad students at my department last semester and I thought that you all might want to read it prior to deciding to apply to grad school. Prior attending grad school, a former professor gave me some not-so-nice information about the reality of life as a grad student and of an aspiring academic. I found this information very useful in evaluating my own reasons for applying to graduate programs in philosophy. While I cannot do for any of you what she did for me, I would like to share with all of you an article from the journal of higher education with (broadly speaking) the same aim. However, I will warn the readers of this post that the content of this article is bleak, significantly bleaker than what I was told before I applied. The take home message should NOT be don’t go to grad school, rather it should encourage readers to seriously consider why they want to attend grad school. Is it because you would like to be a professor, make some money, publish and change the world? Or is simply because grinding poverty might be worth it to have a chance to study and discuss philosophy at a significantly higher level? Both of these questions are clearly exaggerations, but I think that they give you the gist of the two options.
Here is one. I’ll post some others as comments, if anyone wants to read them. Before ending this brief post I just want to say again that this is not meant to dissuade anyone from going to grad school, but to instead provide students with some serious concerns that one ought to consider so that once a decision is made, it will be as informed as possible (if your professors have not done this already.) Personally, I don’t agree with about have of what this author says but it is still worth reading.