Congratulations on the successful defense of your dissertation. This is a significant accomplishment, and you should have the opportunity to savor it with friends and family as you look toward the next stage of life in the academy. Unfortunately, given present hiring trends, you are most likely busy, searching for any plausible academic appointment before your student health insurance lapses (n.b. this CANNOT be extended under COBRA. See p. 37 of the Graduate Student Handbook). While a PhD no longer ensures employment (or — and we cannot stress this enough — continuing health coverage), these materials provide a useful introduction to the privileges and responsibilities your degree confers.
Economics PhD: You will openly disdain other disciplines as unscientific and ideological. You are also eligible for a 15% discount on sacred relics of Friedrich Hayek on the Mont Pelerin Society’s website.
Physics PhD: Friends must pretend it is endearing when you explain why their favorite movies are inaccurate.
Biology PhD: You are presented an enchanted ring that endows its wearer with the ability to talk to Zebrafish. The Zebrafish inform you that your advisor has written you a bad reference letter. You get an industry job.
Philosophy PhD: Trolley conductors are legally obliged to follow your instructions.
Classics PhD: Everywhere you are followed by a man who whispers into your ear: “you are mortal.” He is the Chair of your tenure committee.
Geology PhD: You get one gem heist.
History PhD: You will be treated as an authority on current events within your geographic subfield. Factual inaccuracies are excused because “the archives aren’t open yet.”
Doctor of Education: You will be addressed as “Dr. Jill Biden.”
Computer Science PhD: You may wear a T-Shirt to formal events.
Mathematics PhD: You must wear a T-Shirt to formal events.
English PhD: You are expected to proofread all essays for familial relations up to and including second cousins.
Chemistry PhD: You are now able to walk in the sunlight. You were before — but you haven’t been outside the lab before 2:00 AM in the past six years.
Zoology PhD: On the second Tuesday of each month you may feed the animals.
MBA: You have built a dystopia, forced us to live in it, and tethered us to cataclysm by which you would rule us from beyond the grave. You will be referred to as a “job creator.”