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>The difference is that they don't have the choice to go into industry afterward.

I'm doing this (a PhD in English), but I wouldn't have started if I weren't able to work in my family's consulting business at the same time. Most of my peers in grad school appear to be afraid of the real world and/or diligently putting their head in the sand; now I sent prospective grad students here: http://jseliger.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/what-you-should-kno... and to similar literature on why academia in the liberal arts is an incredibly bad investment.

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