I’ll admit up front that this may seem a little hypocritical, as I remain convinced there is a very real chance that, had this mindset been in place when I applied for my PhD, I probably would not have been admitted. So it is easy for me to say “there are too many of us!” when I have already gotten across the finish line.
Having said that, I do think perhaps we turn out too many PhDs for the academic world.
However…perhaps we need to do a better job convincing folks outside of the ivory tower – and potential PhD students – that a PhD is more than just a path to an academic career. Further, we need to be serious about that. We cannot shake our heads and withdraw support when a PhD student decides to pursue a career that is not exactly like his/her adviser. We cannot shirk our duties to the world at large. (This also ties into my belief that we need more public intellectuals, not fewer ones.) We need to offer a PhD program that both trains the future faculty and leadership of the academy as well as the future business, political and economic leadership of our state, our nation, our world.