I am considering whether a phd is something I should do for my career.
I am interested in a career as a research scientist for a university or in industry.
I would love to hear from post docs who can tell me whether it was worth them doing a phd or not and why.
Just go for it. For a person who loves their subject (and I'm guessing by your name "sciencegirl1" that you're in that category), a PhD is a chance to immerse oneself in their favorite subject while getting paid.
Sure, I had a horrible time in grad school due to personal problems and not getting along with my supervisors, but now I can honestly say that I love my job. I get paid doing exactly what I love. So yes, for me it was worth it. I can come into work in whatever clothes I like, at whatever time I like (most days), and stay as long as I like. So long as I get the work done it's fine. There are not many jobs with this kind of flexibility. And ultimately, we're contributing to society in a positive way.
If you really want a research career then a research degree (Mphil, ideally PhD) will be a huge advantage. A PhD is really a must if you want an academic career. Sure, it's not something to be undertaken lightly and you are doing to right thing to find out as much as you can about it. If you have the stamina and drive to plough on when things are tough, choose to work on a topic that you find fascinating and have a good supervisory team behind you, there is every chance that you will succeed and will enjoy the journey. Go for it and good luck! :-)
I finished my PhD last year and had a very tough time getting to the end. Unfortunately I have not been able to find ANY kind of job since being awarded my doctorate. I started a landscape gardening business to get me through financially when my funding ran out and this is just about keeping me afloat at the moment but is not what I want to be doing. At the moment my PhD feels like a massive waste of time effort and money. There seem to be very few post-doc opportunities (on this site there is not a single earth sciences post doc listed) I want to be an academic and a PhD is essential for this, but equally it's useless when there are no jobs and bills to pay. I now find myself in the 'over qualified' bracket- a term I have always hated- for many jobs, or alternatively lacking experience for commercial sector jobs.
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