• Individual Members
  • Early Career Members
  • Student Members
  • Student Events
    Student News
    Newsletter Archive
    Previous Articles
    Student Chapters
    Student Author Travel Grants
    Newport Awards
  • Corporate Members
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
  • Visiting Lecturers
  • Women In Optics
  • BACUS Technical Group
Print PageEmail Page

By Thomas H. Benton

It's fine to think about graduate school as an aesthetic experience, like the Grand Tour of Europe that people like Henry James used to take, if you can afford it. Spending a year in graduate school is surely more laudable than buying an expensive sports car. But most people do not have that kind of economic freedom; I am mostly concerned with the majority of students who do not have the safety net of wealth or connections—those for whom a bad choice in one's early 20s can have life-long consequences.