Academia: this is a great career if you have a true vocation as a scholar and teacher. The intellectual rewards are high, the emotional satisfacation is real, if you have a natural bent in that direction. If you do not wish to be a scholar and teacher stay away. Gaining a Ph. D. is truly very hard work, the expense and investment in time is high, and the art is long. The rewards are real, if you value them; they key here is do you value education, because America doe not. Moreover, the financial pay-fo to you is low. Therefore, pursue a career in higher eduction if you wish to become a scholar and a teacher, but, do not go there if you expect to be valued my others or want to make money; for that, you need to go elsewhere.