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Wednesday, 11 April 2018 at 5:22pm
Thursday, 12 April 2018 at 6:29pm
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Thread: Should I quite my high paying job for a full-time PhD

11-Apr-18, 17:46
edited about 29 seconds later
by bananas
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posted about 3 months ago

I am an IT professional with over 8 years of experience. I am currently a senior in my position. I am 34 years old, married and have a kid.

My dilemma is as follows. I am very well paid in my position (much higher than avg peers with similar number of years of experience) but I don't really have any passion for what I am doing anymore. I am very good at what I do (according to my reviews + manager) as I have done it for a long period of time now and my speciality is quite niche.

I applied to do a PhD in something I am interested in (still in IT) and got accepted to two programs. Both are very reputable universities (not Oxford or Cambridge, but not far off). The programme and supervisor I am really interested in working with will only take full-time PhDs. The other programme will take me part-time.

I am faced with a difficult decision. If I do the part-time PhD there is a very high risk of not finishing as I will have to juggle study + family + work. Also I am not sure if doing the PhD part-time will allow me to pivot into the other direction I am interested in pursuing, since I am really accumulating more years of experience in what I am currently doing.

Doing the PhD full-time will have a crazy financial impact, which can be withstood (i.e family can still be provided for) but yea, we will be very poor. I would have to postpone many plans for settling down etc but on the other side I am totally devoted to the PhD with the freedom to intern in areas I am interested in. Of course prospects after the CS PhD are unclear as with any PhD really.

Anyone here been a similar position or have any advice for me ?
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