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-   -   To PhD or not to PhD, that is the question... (http://www.mazdachat.net/vb/showthread.php?t=104)

hobie237 24th April 2008 09:26

To PhD or not to PhD, that is the question...
 
What say you, should I stick around another 3 years after I get done my masters (one year from now)? Or just head out into the world?

Bob Hill 24th April 2008 09:39

Well I have a PhD so obviously I am all for education. If though, you can swing working fulltime and going to school I would suggest doing it that way. It is tough but it can be done - BTDT.

When I looking to hire new employees, if someone has a PhD but no real work experience I won't hire them because they are unproven in the work force. Just something to think about.

swivel 24th April 2008 09:47

Well that depends on what your specific goals are.

Personally, after finishing my bachelors I was sick of academia and how insulated it is from anything resembling the real world. Of course I'm now working as a college staff member -- which just proves to reinforce my previous opinion.

Do you view academics as a means to end, or an end in itself?
If you enjoy the pursuit of knowledge and whatnot, then staying for your doctorate makes sense.
If you're using education as a way to gain a better position in the market place, then you should make the economic calculation of: Is there more of an opportunity cost to staying in school vs. getting out there?

Those are just some general guidelines and the way I think about it. I found that what helps me is having a 5 year plan. I know that might sounds dumb, but it works for me. Figure out where you want to be/what you want to be doing in the next 1,2,&5 years and do what is necessary to make that happen. I have found that without goals or direction, I tend to get nowhere with anything and end up with a deficit of motivation.

hobie237 24th April 2008 09:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Hill (Post 539)
Well I have a PhD so obviously I am all for education. If though, you can swing working fulltime and going to school I would suggest doing it that way. It is tough but it can be done - BTDT.

When I looking to hire new employees, if someone has a PhD but no real work experience I won't hire them because they are unproven in the work force. Just something to think about.

Thanks for the tip, Bob!

I hadn't thought about doing full-time work as well as more school, I was thinking part-time work/school as I'm doing now. The great thing about the program that I'm in is that the school places us where we get meaningful experience- for instance, I'm doing my Master of Public Administration and working through a contracting agency doing land use planning work for towns, counties, and I'm even doing work for the state at the moment.

As for when I get done school- I'm seriously considering teaching/professing. I really want to go into business for myself (in the automotive field, totally unrelated to anything I've studied in school) and I need something that'll allow me flexible hours, and, ideally, the summer off, while providing decent benefits and paying the bills.


Edit- answered Swivel's questions without even reading his post. Wow. I should just quit school and take a job at a psychic hotline.

Bob Hill 24th April 2008 14:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by hobie237 (Post 541)
Edit- answered Swivel's questions without even reading his post. Wow. I should just quit school and take a job at a psychic hotline.

No had you been a real psychic you would have known he was going to answer the question the way he did. :D

transam kid 01 26th June 2008 01:17

If you are going to be a professor, get the PhD. Otherwise, look at your field and see the acceptance and pay rate of people (in the demographic you belong to) with a masters and then a PhD. This may help your decision.

You can also try talking to your adviser or even someone in the field you are interested in.

hobie237 26th June 2008 07:49

The thing of it is, in my field, you either go in with a bachelor's or a master's, or you get a PhD and profess about the field, there aren't a whole lot of people with PhDs working, just because it's not really necessary.

I wouldn't mind professing as a career, but I don't know if I could stand the academic politics and whatnot.

So I will continue to get second and third opinions and stew over it until the last possible day to make a decision. ;)

Nice RX-8, by the way.

transam kid 01 26th June 2008 09:43

Thank you :)

If it's not necessary and the compensation is negligible (PhD), then stick with your masters. If you plan on becoming a professor later on in life, then it may be a good investment to do it now, rather than attempting to do it later.

hobie237 2nd July 2008 09:57

Yeah, the real kick is how sweet of a semi-retirement gig professing would be down the line- no interest in doing so now.

I did just get word that a new job might open up for me 6-9 months down the line, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works out, since it's something I'd really like to do.

Oh well, back to stewing over it. ;)


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