Generally expected to pursue careers in academia, some Ph.D. students are now bucking tradition and going into industry upon graduation, taking jobs at tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Stanford students have a special opportunity to strategically channel their high earning careers and make lasting social change. It is our duty to the world to consider these unconventional paths to helping those in need.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately wondering what I’d like to do with my life – professionally, that is. It’s hardly a unique problem: I know plenty of people graduating this year from university, defending their Ph.D.s, or finding that it’s time to move on from their current job. As we fumble through…
With the enormity of the resources available to us at Stanford, and with the extreme number of choices we have been lucky enough to have received during our time at this institution, is it right for us to move forward in droves towards lucrative but questionably impactful private sector jobs?
What follows then is a defense of my intended profession, supplemented by a conversational interview with Kirstin Quade, a fiction writer who lectures here at Stanford.
As much as I find the various jobs I’ve suggested interesting, I know that none of them are right for me – well, with the exception of the boner one, perhaps. Still, the fact of the matter is, even with so many wonderful and sometimes bizarre careers out there, there’s a chance your dream job doesn’t exist…yet.
Figuring out what I want to do with my life is like trying to make out what’s playing on my grandma’s old antenna television during a blackout; it’s very fuzzy and constantly changing. Since I find it almost impossible to answer this question, I tend to avoid thinking about it. However, as I climb the ranks of upperclassmen-hood, that gets harder to do, since everyone wants to know what I have planned for the future.
There are also those choosing to enter the arenas of business, consulting and investment banking. All of these fields are united in their high salaries and resultant prestige, and it is generally no surprise when another bright and high-achieving Stanford student chooses one of these career pathways. One answer you are less likely to hear is that of “teacher,” a profession that popular opinion does not quite equate with the others mentioned above.