Penelope Trunk warns us away from grad school:
The more desperate you are for a job, the more likely you are to take a job that doesn’t teach you what you want to learn. And then you get to that job and you think, “Grad school could solve this problem.” But in fact, grad school creates larger, and more insurmountable problems. And some the problems you’re trying to solve with grad school might not be problems at all.
Her arguments are eightfold:
1. Grad school pointlessly delays adulthood.
2. PhD programs are pyramid schemes
3. Business school is not going to help 90% of the people who go.
4. Law school is a factory for depressives.
5. The medical school model assumes that health care spending is not a mess.
6. Going to grad school is like going into the military.
7. Most jobs are better than they seem: You can learn from any job.
8. Graduate school forces you to overinvest: It’s too high risk.
See the explanations here.
These arguments seem to better reflect people who get a PhD when they have little chance of getting a faculty position (sorry, humanities) and professional school for the sake of professional school. But sometimes professional school gives you technical skills needed for a job (accounting, tropical medicine, law…) and PhDs are a must for professional researchers. Without those caveats, the advice reads more like a rant.
Besides, who says delaying adulthood is pointless?