It’s always struck me as strange that the skills needed to get a faculty job (essentially, the ability to produce interesting data) are mostly disjoint from those needed to keep the same job (management, grant writing).
Doctoral students are such a good deal for universities, I can see why they’d want lots of them. Yes professional students and MS students pay tuition and sometimes TA a bit, but for high skilled low wage labor that lands big grants, there’s nothing like a few doctoral students to write the code or do the lab work.
I’m not convinced that industry bound students need to lean these skills at low wages in a grad program with long completion times and high attrition rates. Elite JD students are completed in a consistent 3 years and have an attrition rate typically below one half of one percent, and they don’t graduate ready to practice law. They learn this working brutal hours under stressful conditions at $180,000+ a year. Elite PhD programs take over twice as long and have attrition rates of about 35-50% depending on the discipline.
A shorter, more consistent practice oriented doctoral degree makes sense compared to a PhD but... is there a market for it? I’m not just asking if they’d get hired, I’m asking if they’d be hired at sufficiently higher rates than MS or BS holders to justify the expense and loss of earnings. Would it be competitive with those degrees + an MBA?
There are still reasons to do it. The nature of the job is also a factor. Senior CRUD bug fixer (or overstressed lawyer) might pay a little (or a lot) better that Senior analyser of fascinating data sets, and lave lower entry costs. But I can see why someone would pay a bit more to earn a bit less to get a more interesting job. There are limits though. Is a PhD or even one if these alternate doctorates really essential? Or even worth the opportunity cost?
Otherwise it just seems like turning a PhD into job training - something which is already happening to many undergraduate degrees as the BSc becomes the new High School Diploma.