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Showing posts from March, 2012

Do you need a PhD?

Since I decamped from the academic world to industry, I am often asked (usually by first or second year graduate students) whether it's "worth it" to get a PhD in Computer Science if you're not planning a research career. After all, you certainly don't need a PhD to get a job at a place like Google (though it helps). Hell, many successful companies (Microsoft and Facebook among them) have been founded by people who never got their undergraduate degrees, let alone a PhD. So why go through the 5-to-10 year, grueling and painful process of getting a PhD when you can just get a job straight out of college (degree or not) and get on with your life, making the big bucks and working on stuff that matters?

Doing a PhD is certainly not for everybody, and I do not recommend it for most people. However, I am really glad I got my PhD rather than just getting a job after finishing my Bachelor's. The number one reason is that I learned a hell of a lot doing the PhD, and mo…