My experience was great. I got paid to do 6 years of learning and experimental work by the government (thank you DOD and NSF) on the coldest states of matter in the universe. I traveled the world for free and hang out with Nobel prize winners. I was surrounded by bright and a few world-class brilliant people. I didn't have any real deadlines. I got to write and publish papers trying to explain my work.
Now, the post-doc/professor rat race is only for those who are truly called to the field. My plan was PhD->industry the whole time.
I'm a Post Grad from Gatech myself, and from what I've seen this wasn't the norm.
Also, I wonder how different the pay/career options are for a PhD in industry vs. having a Masters in the same field.
I've seldom seen an argument suggesting that the pay between Ph.d. and masters is substantial, or even advantageous (on average). Ph.d. is about becoming an expert and leader in a research field. It is not about the $$ or ROI.
On the other hand, in terms of career options, the differences are often quite substantial. Ph.d. is much more likely to be in a small research team than in the line of fire for a deliverable. Much more likely to be working in a laboratory somewhat independently/autonomously. Because of the predilection towards independent, high-risk/reward work, I have seen some recruiters and VP/engineering who are hesitant to add doctorates to typical engineering teams, as they gravitate towards different sorts of problems.
Is it an accepted environment in academia by now and very widely known and people still go for the same environment? Or people, students, don't know how it is actually there, or the severity of it, and then kind of get trapped because of that mild ignorance, so to speak? Or, is it just the hope that - oh that place cannot be that bad? Or is it really not this widespread as people make it out to be, or as it seems to be (to me at least)? Just curious (I'm not a grad school guy; just an MS aspirant who also wanted to do a PhD but now not).
I did my PhD in The Netherlands. I had an awesome time, both professionally and socially. I worked with great people, had a great social life, and wasn't paid badly (for Dutch standards).
Afterwards, I was in industry for a short time. Upside: people directly use what you create. Downside: in most companies (outside Google, Microsoft Research, etc.) urgent customer demands prevail over research time.
Given the relatively negative experiences I went to academia again (this time in Germany), and am enjoying it a lot: enough time to work out and test ideas, I enjoy teaching a lot, regular travel, a reasonable pay, and not much overtime.
I might explore the other side of the fence again when my current position ends, but I am happy where I am.
Both groups I worked in had a fair amount of people who couldn't speak Dutch/German --- for research it's definitely not a problem. In teaching it seems that The Netherlands (and probably Scandinavian countries) is more flexible: non-native speakers are typically allowed to teach in English. In Germany, this seems more problematic unless it's an international program.
Outside work, I would definitely recommend expats in Germany to learn German. Most Germans are not really proficient in English (not even general practitioners). In The Netherlands you could easily survive without knowing Dutch.
In practice, it seems that many people are actually doing so when they are free to choose. Many people I see choosing to stay in the PhD program have visa issues and that's a big contributing factor.
From the school/department's view, yes; from the perspective of the student I'm not so sure. Over the last few years, many of PhD programs I interacted with (In the biological and chemical sciences) were increasingly mastering out more students than they were passing through comps/quals. It has gotten to the point where students are intentionally failing their comps/quals so that they can master out. Going this route means you didn't have to pay the master's tuition and were on a stipend the entire time -- better than paying the master's tuition and having to scrounge for cash.
Your mentor (+ his overseers) decides where the money goes = politics.
Corporations, like the rest of us, pay taxes on the money they make (profit). Profit may be reduced, perhaps to zero, intentionally, by paying money made to people (employees, shareholders, managers). Those people like the rest of us pay tax on that income. I assert that provided tax is paid on the money by someone, somewhere, that's just fine and I'm ok with the corporation itself not paying any (income) tax. Obviously they should pay property taxes, employer payroll taxes and so on.
Since the marginal tax rate on corporate income is much higher than most individual's marginal tax rate (in the USA specifically), company managers are strongly motivated to aim for low to zero profit and hence zero tax by either spending money or paying it to employees or shareholders (who are liable for the tax on that income).
Of course, real life is a bit more complex -- corporations and individuals can reduce or evade tax through jurisdiction arbitrage, various other tricks. I don't support those things. I do support the goal to have individual people pay tax, not corporations. That also seems to be the motivating principal behind the US tax code at present.
This is, of course, no excuse for Google not paying taxes at this moment.
Last I checked, the universities in my city get their land tax-free, given that they are non-profits. Not many American corporations can claim the same.
Assume these companies have an excellent selection process (obviously a big 'if'). Could they pluck bright students straight out of high school, send them to two years of specialized super-accelerated Google School, and have a molded and productive employee come out the other side? They have the resources and the expertise, and there's only so many Stanford grads each year.
A workforce of bootcamp devs sounds unpleasant - but with skyrocketing tuition costs, and ever-increasing demand for 'only the best' talent at these companies, there's probably a point at which it makes economic sense for both employer and employee.
Or, alternatively, would the preponderance of nanodegree programs and "Google Schools" diminish the value of a traditional degree to the point that accreditation would be unnecessary?
Never. You may be too young to remember this, but it used to be very common for companies to hire employees and then train them to do the jobs the company needed done.
Eventually, companies realized that it was much more cost-effective to foist off the expense of training onto employees themselves (and, indirectly onto taxpayers through federal financial aid) so it's become rare for companies to have any kind of formal training program. They expect potential employees to go heavily into debt training themselves, and then hope to find somebody who is already trained for their exact job role.
Google is no different from other companies in this regard: Training people is expensive, and if they can avoid that expense, they will avoid it.
If you accept that a Master's program is contained within a PhD program, and this residency is similar to a PhD program in deep learning from a top school, then this would be the fastest PhD-like (revised from equivalent which is too strong of a claim) program ever. Only 12 months and a google badge!
> The residents are expected to read papers, work on research projects, and publish their work in top-tier venues.
My reading of that they're saying that the program has similar activities not that it provides a comparable outcome.
In my experience (which, admittedly, has only involved much less flexible corporations than Google), you don't get to the level of responsibility you have as a PhD student or postdoc until you've been with a large corporation for >20 years.
I admit I have a slightly skewed view, but I've very skeptical that this is anywhere close to a complete PhD program.
It looks a lot more like a 1-year internship on an R&D team. Still a very good and useful thing, but you're not the one responsible for completion of projects.
It's going to vary person to person of course, but I'd expect the learning rate to be at best about the same as a top program.
Google: Now offering PhD-like programs in only 12 short months!