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Judging by a lot of the questions on this site, a career in Academia sounds very grim. Lots of pressure, extreme working ours, few benefits, mediocre salary, and, because one has to work with so many different people (supervisors, students, collaborators, HR, editors, etc., etc), one is more likely to run into social issues, as evidenced by the questions on this site.
So why then do so many people go into Academia? Is it really just a reason not to grow up?
"Passion for the field" doesn't sound very convincing either, when one considers that only a small, small minority of Academia actually produce worthwhile, interesting results. The rest are just scrambling for any sort of recognition by constantly publishing mediocre results that will be cited twice over the course of the next 10 years. Rinse and repeat. Really, a lot of these people are just glorified teachers whose main contribution is giving lectures or conferences. When one considers the rising academic dishonesty, fabrication, plagiarism, and so on, the picture becomes even worse.