Another example of how you’ve been lied to all your life: “If you go to college, you’ll get a good job!” Wrong.
You will rack up tons of debt, and if you are lucky, you’ve got a 50/50 chance of landing a job in your field. (I was lucky I did, but it’s not full time, so I’m one of the 40%.) So what do you do when you can’t get a good job. Well the obvious answer is go back for a higher degree — contributing to “certification inflation.” Now you’re masters is worth a bachelor degree, your doctorate is worth a masters (and you’re now so specialized you are less likely to get that Starbuck’s job), and postgrad is just another bit of “experience” on the resume because you aren’t the only one who thought another $30k in debt and six years wasted might help you out.
Having a glut of higher educated workers is not a new phenomenon. In the Soviet Union, doctorates often were pushing brooms and cleaning drains. It’s simple supply and demand — too many people with PhDs in history equals a bunch of janitors with attitude.