Academia is a pyramid scheme, like Amway.
I was in science. In my program, every tenured professor had lab groups that churned out 1–3 graduates each year. The professors had careers of 20–40 years. Do the math. We’re talking about each professor producing dozens of graduates equipped to take their place.
It’s not realistic that a majority of students end up in academia.
I loved graduate school, but if I had to do it again I would know going in exactly what I wanted to, where I wanted to do it, and when.
For example, “I want to work at Company X in the Boston area, doing DNA research, in 5 years. I will enter Graduate Program Y, which gives me the best chance to interview successfully at Company X for the position I want.”
Anything short of that, and you’re just kidding yourself. Best.