Sunday, June 06, 2004

Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men - a lost article from The American Magazine, 1924

The New York Times > Business > Your Money > Digital Domain: What's Google's Secret Weapon? An Army of Ph.D.'s
Until recently, when computer science students completed their long Ph.D. training and stepped into daylight, they were treated warily by industry employers. American business has had to overcome its longtime suspicion of intellect. 'Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men,' an article published in the 1920's in the American magazine, is a typical specimen of an earlier era. In modern times, computer scientists are hired, but a doctorate can still be viewed as the sign of a character defect, its holder best isolated in an aerie.

The aversion of industry to the "over-educated" is a real phenomena. I can't comment on whether it's a wise prejudice, I've no data. (I'm an MD & MS, not a PhD. Hard to say which is a tougher slog -- the PhD depends very much on field and on advisor. An MD does not require any creativity, indeed creativity can be a disadvantage. Most PhD's need to have quite a bit of the creative inclination.)

I'd love to read that article however: "Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men", (The?) American Magazine, 1924?. Oddly enough, it's not on the net! In fact, the only reference to it comes from a "Joel on Software" discussion. I'll have to start looking into news repositories.

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