I'm currently a Master's student and my aim eventually would be to try to get funding for a PhD once my Master's is complete. However, due to personal circumstances I am not in the position to attend a university very far from where I live. I really enjoy attending the university I go to and the academic staff in my department are great (there is also one who shares my research interests), but I do worry what impression it would make if all 3 of my degrees are from the same university? I would like to become a lecturer eventually so I guess this would be really important to prospective employers.
Any thoughts would be welcome. And have any of you been in a similar position?
First of all, I am not an academic. Take what I say with a grain of salt.
If your university is Imperial, LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, I wouldn't worry about it and probably you wouldn't worry about it either. I am assuming that your university is not one of those. If you have all 3 degrees from any of these universities, you would be seen as a straight A student (as most entry-level academics should be). Your employers should know how competitive it is to get in these universities. Awards and scholarships make it even better. I think UCL, Warwick, Edinburgh, Bristol are not best but ok.
For all other universities, the answer depends on the competitiveness of your subject. Ideally, you would want to go from a low-rated institution to a high-rated institution as you study. But there are other things to think about such as the availability of funding, location, etc.
When you complete your PhD, unless you get lucky, you have to get a lectureship job at an institution that is considered to be less prestigious than the university where you did your PhD. You have to get some experience teaching and research before an appropriate position opens in your desired university and you have enough papers under your belt. So the higher the institution where you do your PhD, the more options you have.
Different story for the private sector. We care more about your professional work experience outside the university context. In a competitive industry, we do care about where you studied as well (unfortunately, more than what you studied) together with your professional experience to date.
I can only speak from my own experiences, but I did my BSc, MSc and PhD at the same university and it hasn't been a problem. It was one of the top departments in the country for my subject, but overall the uni is pretty average. I got a post-doc immediately after my PhD at a different university which has a much better reputation (UK top 10) than the uni I studied at but to be honest the actual department I work in probably isn't as good as the one at the average uni!
So it hasn't been a problem for me- the main thing post-doc positions seemed to be interested in is publications. Also don't stress too much about the uni- it's more the department and who you're working with that will matter. Personally I wouldn't have taken a post-doc where I did my degrees because I do think it's important to get experience elsewhere, but certainly BSc MSc, PhD hasn't been an issue.
I'm studying at the University of Glasgow if that helps, in the Politics department.
I suppose I'm worried that when looking for post-docs etc, they might think I'm too set in my ways after being at the same uni for all 3 of my degrees. But based on what Keenbean has said, I'm feeling a bit more reassured.
It's the best uni that I live near to and as I've already mentioned, the staff in the department are excellent as well.
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