I hope your opinions will help me with the situation I am in right now. I am currently working for an Oil company with a fairly decent job and doing my masters part time in Engineering. It has been about 2.5 years since I started my job. I have changed positions already as well. I always thought I'm not a PHD type guy and it won't help me in future but it seems my ideas are changing a little. Now I'm getting concerned to become just a corporate type guy who goes to work everyday with coffee in his hand and do routine and come back home at the end of day. I always wanted to have my own business and do well financially. One thing I have realized is that I'm getting comfortable at work and don't have time or any new ideas to start my own business. I feel like my work is limiting me. After attending a conference couple of weeks ago, I started to think I should do full time PHD and quiet my job. I thought maybe doing a PHD will help me to come up with ideas that will help me starting my business after that I'm done. If I do my PHD I will be taking a major cut in my salary for few years and be almost 31 by the time I'm done my PHD. These days at work I'm really busy but I think so what I'm just like any other corporate guy and at the end I will be just someone like my supervisor . I have both business and research capability but I can't decide whether or not doing a PHD is a good or terrible idea. Can you please share your thoughts. Thanks
I'm not an expert but it sounds like an MBA may be better than a PhD if you want to head in a business direction. You didn't say what your masters is in, but I assumed it wasn't an MBA? In my field (social sciences), PhDs are what you need for an academic career in research or lecturing, and some go into consulting too. An MBA would be less committing than a PhD in terms of years spent studying, and perhaps your company might even fund you. I think you should find out more about what PhD opportunities there are out there, and whether they fit with your future career plans. They are a massive commitment and I would say you should be sure it's what you want before embarking on one.
My masters is in Combustion modeling more on Mechanical side. I am really interested in this topic. I am more like a thermofluids type guy but even at work I do more solid mechanics work which I don’t mind because I am practicing something different. My issue with MBA is that you still need to work for some big corporate and I know my company will support it since other people are doing MBA on part time basis. When I say my own business I am thinking more in technical world such as designing, manufacturing and consulting. I am afraid that I am looking to PHD in a naïve way but what I’m hoping it will give me time to come up with an idea because my work is too busy that I don’t get a chance to think about it plus once you get comfortable at a position they move you so can’t focus on one thing for long. I am scared once I finish my PHD I realize I was wrong all this long and here I go I am 31 and I have to start from scratch. So I am hoping to get some other opinions on this.
Would MBA give me a business idea though? Most of people who do MBA at our company they still do what they did before and it seems more like a title to have rather than gaining any fresh ideas. My issue is that I am comfortable at work so I don't bother thinking out side of the box and I'm just going to continue at the company and not taking any risks.
I wouldn't have thought that an MBA or a PhD would give you a business idea as such and don't kid yourself you'd have time to ponder those things while doing it - its hard work, far harder work than I've ever done out in the big wide world :-) You get so focussed in on your research that you have little time for anything else. Having said that, its a great thing to do, but maybe not for the reasons you want to do it. I wouldn't say your age is an issue - I'm 40 now and have another year to go minimum so will be 41/42 when I finish. I think you need to really consider your reasons for this and what you want out of it in the end. It won't necessarily give you any business ideas but would give you time to focus on something that you're interested in.
So you think there is no way that someone could come up with business idea in the field of their research during their PHD hey! I also to know more and be an expert in my field but on the other hand I'm thinking I will be broke by the end of my studies. Do you guys face financial issues. Do you think PHD pays off though?
keeping this short as i simply want to agree with the responses you've had already.
In my opinion you do a doctorate based on more intrinsic reasons, you have to want to do it, to find out, to go exploring and come back with something. It needs that level of personal drive.. i don't want to gush about a love of the subject matter ( especially as many posts here are not showing the love all that often) but what keeps us going during the despair is intrinsically driven ( and madness maybe)
Whereas you appear to be starting out with extrinsic goals, e.g financial success. i' m not suggesting that we're martyrs who want to suffer for the cause but ... mmm.. I'm not feeling any passion for your learning.. as they say for your journey.
Also, agreeing with another post .. i haven't got the mental capacity to decide on what to have for lunch let alone thinking of a business idea.
for what its worth my view.. go find a business idea, write it up like a mini thesis.. the Dr badge will not be as useful as a blinking good idea, some good marketing, some get up and go and a bit of luck.
that wasn't so short after all... once i get ranting.. :-x(sprout) Chuff
I don't think its so much not being able to come up with a business idea during a PhD, that could happen, its more that that's not normally 'why' you'd do one. Chuff is quite right that for most of us it wasn't so much wanting to do one as not being able to imagine not having done one - not having done that research if that makes sense. When I was planning it I was so caught up in the research that when I thought for a few days that it wasn't going to happen I was in something approaching mourning! The idea that I'd never know, never have done that research and that worse still someone else might end up doing it - utterly gutting. Its a really hard road, extremely hard work and that something inside you needs to be there - the passion for it - cos when the going gets tough that's all that keeps you going! Most of us hit really rough bits, we all have times where we just don't want to be here anymore, the thought of opening the darned laptop or reading another book on that god awful subject is more than we can bear but I think having had that drive and passion deep down somehow pushes you through lol. Financially it is a nightmare - funding is sparce (check out some of the funding threads for examples of how tough it is to get it - these are top people - the unis will only put through the very best for funding and still they are turned away). I got a scholarship that paid my fees and around £6K a year.... the research councils pay more like £12K but you aren't allowed to work to supplement that beyond 6-10 hours a week - its tough financially, really tough - another example of why you should really only do this if you're 100% certain that you can't live without doing it ;-)
Having said all that, if you think its right for you then go for it! It would be good in terms of making you an expert in an area of your field and it may well lead on to bigger and better things for you but make sure you know why you're doing it before you sign away the next 3-4 years of your life :-)
Thanks for all the responses... I like my research topic and everything but the fear of regretting doing this after that I'm done makes me wonder I should do it or not... I know I'm not a quieter and I work hard once I've started something... Financially, I know I will be fully funded but it will be more about $1500-3000 per month depending which scholarships I would be able to get (I was nominated for some scholarships during my masters). The funding would be fine somewhat but nothing compared to what I actually get paid now... I know my PHD may or may not give a business idea but I know also at the stage that I'm right now at work I won't be able to come up with any ideas since I don't have deep knowledge or skills in something specific; plus is my work area is not my true passion.... Thanks
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest