First, I cannot stress enough the cult-like powers of a PhD program. Doctoral programs can have a strong influence on the weak-minded. Even if you’re pretty sure what you want going into a program, that can change as you’re surrounded by peers who want something different. You might think you’re strong-willed, but day after day of hearing how a top-tier research university position is the be-all, end-all of life can have strange effects on your psyche.
I really do feel this is something we handle well at Wisconsin. Our Ph.D. graduates go on to a wide variety of positions, some in primarily teaching colleges, some in research institutions, some in industry, some in government. We do not consider the North American research university the be-all and end-all of life. We are not just trying to produce clones of ourselves. We really do strive to help each of our students get the best job among the jobs they want to get.