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Friday, 2 May 2014 at 8:38pm
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Thread: Should I do a Ph.D.?

06-May-14, 18:26
by MrsK86
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posted about 5 years ago
Thanks for the replies, it's good to see the perspectives of other postgrads :-)

First of all, my husband and I are childfree by choice, so whether or not the phd can fit around a family is a non-issue :-)

Also, I am aware that Ph.D. students are expected to publish articles etc during the course of the phd (at least that's what it's like in archaeology), which I am fully prepared (and even excited) to do. I also expect to attend a couple of conferences a year in order to present my work :-)

The issue of how to publish once the Ph.D. is completed is something to think about. I know that there are academics in archaeology with other jobs, and they still manage to get their research published in academic journals. I imagine that if I publish good articles as a Ph.D. student, the same journals may be more inclined to publish me upon completion because they will already be familiar with my work. And as far as I can tell, it's perfectly possible to present research at archaeology conferences without actually being a lecturer or researcher at a university.

I think doing 15 hours a week for the PhD. is doable, particularly if I can work as an accountant 4 days a week rather than 5. I'm already used to organising my time well; I have done multiple accountancy exams around a full time job, and in the weeks leading up to an exam I usually study for several hours every evening after work in addition to at least 10 hours on the weekends.

The attrition rate for Ph.D. students is indeed high, and there is no guarantee that I would complete the PhD. However, I am certainly not as naive about academia as I was as an undergraduate, and I guess the fact that I don't expect or need academia to become my main career takes a lot of pressure off.

Thread: Should I do a Ph.D.?

02-May-14, 21:28
by MrsK86
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posted about 5 years ago
I completed a BA and MA in Archaeology, graduating with the MA in 2009. My goal at the time was to do a Ph.D. as soon as possible in order to pursue a career in academia.

However, life got in the way of these plans. During the last semester of my MA, I experienced illness in the family, which was a severely emotionally draining experience, which left me with very little energy and motivation to pursue further studies. Furthermore, around this time I began to have serious misgivings about pursuing an academic career, due to lack of job security and very limited earning prospects etc.

After finishing my MA, I therefore took an administrative job unrelated to my degree. About a year later, I decided to do a qualification in accountancy, and I started studying part-time whilst working full time. I still have some exams left to take of my accountancy qualification, but I expect to have completed them within 2 years.

I am now wondering, however, if I should pursue a self-funded part time PhD (in archaeology), starting in the academic year of 2016 (as I should have completed my accountancy qualification by then). I would do the Ph.D. whilst working as an accountant (ideally working 4 days a week rather than 5).

I have no intention of applying for academic positions upon completion of the PhD (as these are extremely competitive, accountancy pays much better, and I'm planning on buying a house with my husband in the near future which means I am not in a position to relocate for jobs). However, I do intend to continue doing research and publish papers in my spare time. Basically, the PhD and academic activities would be more of a hobby I am extremely passionate about than anything else, whereas accountancy would be my source of steady income.

The question is, am I completely naive in thinking that doing a part-time Ph.D. whilst maintaining a career in accountancy is possible?
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