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I thought about getting a PhD at one point. It seemed like a neat thing to do. Talking to a friend of mine who is a professor disabused me of that idea quickly. Too much obedience, maybe, but the real killer is the politics. Lots of politics and politicking and stroking ego to get a PhD. No good. That's not what it should be.

I doubt there is any professional endeavor free of "politics and politicking." Universities are large bureaucracies, and come with all of the institutional morass present in other organizations of such scale.

I've never worked anywhere that had so much politics as a University - and that goes for everything from start-ups through to multinationals.

> I doubt there is any professional endeavor free of "politics and politicking."

There's lots of professions where decisions are primarily made on merit. Entrepreneurship is one of them.

I wouldn't necessarily agree this is true as long as you never have a mentor, never take money from anyone who wants voting shares and only work by yourself.

All environments have politics. It's inherent in collaborative human interaction. What changes is the extent and the style.

I much better understand university politics than I do office politics. University politics is glacially slow and almost always run democratically; if you want something to change, you need plenty of closed door discussions with as much faculty as possible to get them on-side when the time comes to push.

My exposure to office politics was always power struggles between people with titles, and who can get the right handful of ears to listen. Sometimes you needed to step on the throats of other people internal or external to the company. I could never find the right pace, people or aggression to get it right.

The real point of disillusion came for me when I realized my advisor was so caught up in funding politics and jockeying for awards that he wasn't even looking at some of the research proposals we were sending out.

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