I am a recent escapee of the academic system, having moved on to a very rewarding industry job after going through the process of obtaining a PhD in physics, followed by the typical academic path of entering a low-paying postdoc while trying to build my reputation. My unhappiness in that postdoc turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave me the impetus to finally escape academia and move on to a more rewarding and fulfilling career, both financially and personally.
While suffering the trials and tribulations, along with the fear of the unknown, that is common in academia, I often felt that I was alone in my belief that the system is fundamentally broken. I have since accumulated a large selection of links, essays, statistics, and various other resources which demonstrate that the academic system in general, and post-bachelors education in particular, is in a terrible state. This blog will serve as my outlet to share those resources, and give encouragement to other students that feel the way I did – you are not alone, and you can escape the ivory tower.
Sometimes, my criticisms of academia will seem bitter, as if I feel that the world is against me, and one would be tempted to interpret that as a problem with me rather than the system. On the contrary, I feel very lucky to have escaped in the manner I did – I had a number of all-too-common roadblocks thrown my way, and a combination of luck and assistance from some awesome people helped me not only overcome those roadblocks, but move into a great career. Unfortunately, many of my friends and colleagues have not been so lucky, and they are stuck in postdoc limbo, adjunct hell, or doing things that are in no way related to their educations. This blog is dedicated to them, and others like them, who have taken the full brunt of the failures of this system, which has evolved to chew its students up and spit them out.