163 karmaJoined Jun 2015Working (15+ years)


  • Attended an EA Global conference
  • Attended an EAGx conference
  • Attended more than three meetings with a local EA group



I often see references to the value of an economics PhD in the EA community and at the 80k hours site.

I find it incredibly hard to relate those cost/benefit assessments of the econ PhD to my situation, because I am now a little over 29 years old, have already done a bunch of study (3 bachelors, 1 masters - around econ, maths, business), and have built 5 years of career capital in government economics roles (which might lose much of its value if I take 5-6 years off to do an econ PhD at a top school).

I am trying to build the greatest amount of career capital to maximise my career impact. Do you have any advice on how I can try to assess the diferences between jumping into an econ PhD for 5-6 years versus just continuing to build up capability and responisibilities along my current career path?

More generally, I imagine there are many EAs in their mid-to-late 20s who feel that it may be too late to jump into a long PhD, or at least that it is not very straightforward (or involve trade-offs that aren't adequately addressed in existing advice) compared to when they were just a few years younger. I don't have any sense for how justifiable these concerns really are. I'd like to get your views on the matter.