Signup date: 11 Feb 2010 at 10:45pm
Last login: 04 Aug 2016 at 2:01pm
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[quote]Quote From mathsgirl:
Caro, I'm in the same place! About 2 drafted chapters with just a few weeks left! I have another big data chapter to draft though, so slightly behind there!
Ah yeah the data chapter I haven't written yet is my biggest! I was hoping I would have had enough practice by then that it will all be easier, but I'm still finding writing incredibly hard! I'm just not a natural scientific writer. I'm better at working under pressure though and there is certainly a lot of that from now on so hopefully it will all just flow out of my in a short time hah! Good luck with your last chapter =)
Hi Mathsgirl! Sounds like I'm at the same stage as you. My final deadline is Sept, but I start my new career in June...so my ideal was to finish by then but my supervisors are not confident in my work yet! 6 weeks of manic writing and then hopefully just some revisions to do while working full time! How many chapters have you got left to write? I have intro and two data chapters drafted (but needed major work) and one data chapter almost drafted, one more to do and then conclusion chapter...eek!
I remember being told once that PhD students usually have more than enough data. I'm in the sciences and just got told to aim for 3-4 data chapters, I have 4 but two are small and two are larger. I have friends who had more chapters but they were all small, and some with less but the contribution was higher for each. So there are no hard and fast rules I think.
I don't really want to go to mine when it comes along. I'm not based at my university and don't know anyone who would be finishing at the same time. Plus it's a long way for my family to travel (400 miles), but I'll have to check with my Mum in case she wants to go! She has already told all of her friends that I'll be her 'doctor daughter', she is far more excited by the prospect than I am hah!
Well said TreeofLife! I agree, it's not just academia or failure. Something like 70% of people with PhD's go onto careers that are not academia, they are not failures! They are using their skills and talents in hundreds of other possible careers from project management and business owners to careers advisors or patent lawyers they are all worthwhile careers where your PhD would benefit you.
Oh and I'm in the same boat Mathcomp, no papers, none even drafted (all my data came together at the end and writing the PhD is my main aim). Almost everyone else in my research building has at least 1 publication but my supervisors aren't worried about me not having any...I've decided academia isn't for me anyway so I'm also not worrying about it =)
What field are you in Dunham? I think postdoc availability varies wildly with field in the UK. I'm in environmental biology and there are post docs but probably only enough for 1 in 5 PhD students. And the reason people want them is you basically can't get a permanent Academic job without doing at least one (usually 3-4) post doc(s) first, so if you want to stay in Academia, it's probably you're only option. Not all fields are applicable to industry either so you can't really assume people can just get a job that way.
I would assume if they wanted you to say more about a technique they would ask you to expand on your answer while you're being interviewed unless they were bad interviewers! So I wouldn't over analyse how you did in interviews. It might just be bad luck so far, competition is high and positions are sparse. But I hope you have some luck soon!
I'm from Aberdeen so I have a lot of friends in the oil industry, all of them earn at least 4 times what I will ever earn and own their own homes (something I could never have done in Aberdeen due to the huge house prices). I know it's on a downturn at the moment but no one I know has lost their job so far and the industry has it's ups and downs but it always comes through so it will pick up again soon enough I'm sure. But you're right while it's down-turning is probably a good time to study so you come back to it with good prospects =)
I wasn't earning very much prior to the PhD - I was doing ecology work, but through an agency so it wasn't very well paid. But it was still a bit of a drop to the stipend, but it's enough to live on, and there are lots of others doing the same. I moved a long way to start my PhD and so that was my bigger worry (my partner couldn't move jobs at that point and it took him a year to be able to join me and I was a long way from family and friends). But I don't regret any of it, I've had a great time and learned so much.
It sounds like it's a good career move for you to have a PhD, and remember in petroleum you will get paid loads more than any other scientist ever will so you will make up for the lack of earnings during studying quickly I'm sure! I will never earn very much as no one wants to pay ecologists, but I'm happy I did my PhD because I wanted to do it for myself.
I started my PhD after 4 years of work, I did it because I'm an ecologist and ecology jobs at the time were all very temporary. I saw my PhD advertised and fell in love with the topic and still love it now - at the end. So if you think you will enjoy your PhD do it for that reason. What are your career aspirations? Academic jobs are in general hard to come by! But I don't know Singapore or the engineering area very well, so it might be there are lots of academic jobs for engineers. Petroleum engineers are going to be in demand for a long while yet too, so you will find work in that field easily I'm sure.
I'd always assumed when people said they'd finished in whatever time that they meant handing in before the viva. As very few people would be able to say 3 years if they were waiting for corrections to be accepted surely? I've never really thought about it before though so I might be wrong! No one in my institute hands in before 3.5 years anyway, and most people take the full 4, the joys of unpredictable science =)
Hi Squamata, it does sound like you have just had some bad luck then as it sounds like you are a great candidate. You're right that everything is competitive, and I didn't mean to sound too negative about academia (although I have been put off from working in it myself). Most people with PhD's go on to use them in their careers some how, even if it's not directly in academia, I'm still glad I am doing a PhD even though I'm now going to go into a career where I don't need one, because I love my subject loads and I'm so glad I got the chance to work on it! So I hope you get a project you love too so that no matter what, it'll be worth it in the end =)
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