The Humanities Ph.D.: Less Than Useless

Despair, debt, frustration, a decade in school rewarded with guaranteed joblessness.  If this cocktail of woe sounds good to you, consider getting a Ph.D. in English, History, or any other humanities discipline. At the New York Times, yet another of the recent spate of articles explaining how utterly dismal the prospects of recent humanities Ph.D.s are.

is a staff writer for The Millions living in Virginia. She is a winner of the Virginia Quarterly's Young Reviewers Contest and has a doctorate from Stanford. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Times, In Character, VQR, Arts & Letters Daily, and The Daily Dish.


  1. excuse you, humanities are linked to everything in context as all that we humans portray ourselves to be in our worlds and minds. whatever outcome a single human action has, it can be reinforced logivcally through some kind of humanity I.E Pssychology. discouraging young adults getting a phd in a humanity is completely shameful in the many interests of human life. without the common study of humanities, iI highly doubt you would even know how you make yourself human and exactly what fits you as an editor into the society which you write posts for

  2. Had you read the post properly, perhaps you would have understood that I was not arguing against the spiritual or human value of an education in the humanities but the material and economic value of a higher degree–a doctorate–in the humanities.

    Please read more carefully before you’re rude and dismissive. And thanks for reading.

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