My brother sounds like a professor sometimes and looks like a professor sometimes but is not a professor because he got his master’s and said: “I’m done, academia. Farewell.” He gives a trifecta of good reasons: No money in academia, no actual change is spurred by academia, your work is for other academics, not the world at large.
A fourth reason, that getting a PhD is a terrible and awful process, is outlined in this harrowing post by a woman named Liv who has a PhD and a job in academia in the U.K. She urges people to take another other route, as this one is long and hard and stressful and expensive. She writes: “I’ve just come back from a conference that was supposed to be about networking for early career researchers and basically turned into a group therapy session for trauma survivors. And this is the winners of the system, those of us who actually graduated from our PhDs and found jobs in academia.” Sounds super fun. Great fun. Most fun. Read the whole thing. Other money quote: “The whole system of academia is set up based on extremely able people looking for every possible flaw in the work of other extremely able people.”