If you’re reading this article as a student in India, you’re probably deciding what career to pursue after college. And pursuing a career in academia as a Professor of Economics—which is my field—is probably not very high on your list. This article will try to convince you that a career in academics and scientific research is actually an option you should consider seriously.
Indians are surprisingly under-represented in PhD programmes in economics and other pure academic disciplines at the leading US universities. Every year, we receive hundreds of applications for the Economics PhD programme at Harvard from students in Europe, South America and China, but only a handful of applications from Indians. As a result, there are far fewer Indian professors relative to doctors, engineers and computer scientists.