I completed my UG degree *only* a few months before starting my PhD (in fact graduated in the same week as my interview).
Despite having been asked a lot of times, I can't say 'what it was like' doing this rather than doing a Masters/working/etc in between...The thing is that I've experienced a couple of people (one in particular) who see it as grounds for really condescending comments, and I wondered if anyone else had had something similar?
In my view, why on earth would someone who'd worked in an unrelated-to-research job for 8 years before doing an MRes and then beginning a PhD feel the need to act superior (in a research context) to someone who had begun their PhD in an unrelated topic in just the same month..? In terms of an academic/research career, aren't we both relatively rookies?
What a whinge... Lenna x
Yep I did. Same thing. The institute I am doing my PhD now had al ready offered me a mphil but after reading my BA thesis they offered me a PhD straight away. But, I have to say, I al ready had 10 years of work experience before enrolling into a UG course.
I didn't face condescending comments though. I do think it's quite hard, when not trained in a MA degree. Feels like playing for 2nd league shite team and then immediately have to perform in a Champions League match. Pressures me a bit.
Don't take shit from them, they might be just jealous for your achievement. Just must have written an outstanding thesis and had great results. It's jealousy.... You've done very well for yourself.
At my university, there a handful of people who went straight to funded PhDs from undergraduate.
In all cases, they had received very high First Class degrees (75-80 average marks), and got in on the strength of their research proposals.
I think an MA is beneficial, and don't agree with the undergrad-PhD process, but that's nothing personal, and I wouldn't treat anyone differently for not doing an MA. I just think you're more academically mature having done one, in terms of you know what to expect and troubleshoot a little easier.
Where abouts are you located? I ask because this is actually dependent on the country you're in.
I did a PhD straight from an honours bachelor degree. However, I did my undergrad in Canada where I am from, but did my PhD in Australia.
I found out the other day from a senior colleague that in Australia, it is expected that you go straight into a PhD program from an honours degree (and the honours year is considered a separate year to your degree, whereas in Canada, my honours year was part of an overall 4 year program). If you fail to get into a PhD program straight from your honours, you get a Masters which is seen as a 'back door' to the PhD program.
I know, it's a bit mental isn't it? A masters here is 'proof' that you didn't do well in your honours year, and many students who choose to do a masters are strongly encouraged to upgrade to the PhD program (which is what I did, because coming from Canada, I applied for a Masters by Research thinking I had to do a masters first, but upgraded immediately to the PhD program). But this is not the same mentality that you'll find in North America.
Has it impacted me? Yes and no. Despite not doing a masters and feeling behind, that doesn't mean I am behind. I have a (fixed-term contract) faculty position as an assistant lecturer at my institution post PhD graduation, have managed to so far grab three research grants in my first year here, presenting at a conference in October and have three publications under review, one which came back as a very encouraging revise and resubmit (which for this particular journal is a good outcome).
I still think, however, that doing a masters first is better for you in terms of getting you more situated within academia, and gives you more time to publish work. But going straight into a PhD program is not necessarily a disadvantage.
I did an Msc before starting the PhD. The master was a good investment, as it got me up to speed in the new field ( my undergrad was loosely related to my PhD), and also I acquired the ability to write scientific reports: i have never written a scientific report before, so it was a big stepping stone for me. Also the master helped me acclimatise in a new city and new educational system. However, I can easily imagine that the master would have been redundant for someone with a different background who already had these skills.
Well done for starting a PhD and good luck !
I am in England and I went straight from UG to PhD. Basically a fully funded PhD post was advertised in conjunction with a teaching position, I applied, was interviewed and was deemed the best candidate. I was very shocked cause I thought that I would need a MSc first but apparently my grades in certain classes and my volunteering work with certain groups made me a contender.
However, I am a mature student so that might have also gone in my favour??
Don't ever feel bad for being chosen over other people, the supervisors obviously saw something great in you and it is their criteria that you needed to fullfil not anyone elses.
I did a masters before my PhD and knew a couple of people who started PhDs straight from bachelors instead. At the time I felt it was unfair that others didn't do a masters beforehand but that was because I had always been under the impression (from members of academic staff!) that it was necessary to do a masters in order to start a PhD. Personally, now I am glad for the research experience from my masters and think it helped me more in the beginning of my PhD with knowledge and confidence. It sounds like the other person is feeling insecure about themselves and are taking it out on you. Even so there is no excuse for condescending comments etc. Stand your ground - I agree with PhDiddy - don't take their crap, otherwise their comments will probably just continue.
I didn't want to generalize it, but you can have a lot of lab experience and be capable of thinking things through, one does not exclude the other. On average, a master student will be more experienced in both ways compared to a bachelor graduate. Simply because of 2 years more experience (both life and academic). Of course you find bachelor students who perform well and even better than students with a master degree. On the other hand, Master students who perform worse than a bachelor student probably would have performed worse without the master degree too ;) You just have a problem if you hire a PhD student for e.g. molecular work and the person never did cloning, qPCR, enzyme assays and stuff like that for a longer period. Someone who did these methods a lot will trouble shoot much more efficiently. If you have to ask your lab mates for instructions everytime then you completely rely on a nice team that takes the time to introduce you. That's not always the case and especially many post docs are busy with their stuff and have the attitude that it is not their job to show you how to do your job ;)
I excluded bachelor graduates who worked for a while. That is of course a whole other story :)
Interesting though that going by the examples given, this is relatively common in the field of sciences and not in arts/ humanities.
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