Which diploma, from which school, from which area of expertise is going to provide a short term advantage? a long term advantage?
Of course it depends on the career path. But I've read some articles saying that PhDs start their career much later, usually as a postdoc with a low salary, and by the time they get higher salaries, their colleagues with a master or MBA have already built a decent wealth. When you factor in the cost required to obtain a PhD, some people say it's not worth it if your goal is optimizing your total income over your lifetime. Of course there are other reasons to earn a PhD, and some (many?) PhDs on Wall Street or patent owners are financially doing very well, far better than most of their colleagues with a MBA or master degree.
What are your thoughts about this? In which circumstances would you recommend a young data miner / statistician to earn a PhD, a master or a MBA?