Should i tell potential employees that i have quite my PhD?


Dear all,

I started my PhD 9 months ago and im so miserable right now.. My supervisor is a very sexist man to the point that he has shown me that he does not trust me. He never lets me take the initiative to do work but instead tells me what i should do!!! I have been feeling this way for a few months now and well i think i want to go and get a job...

I also feel like i started this phd all for the wrong reasons... I am very eager to make lots and lots of money and well i dont believe a PhD will earn me money...

I want to start applying for jobs but should i tell them that i started a PhD and decided not to finish it? Wont that look like im a quitter? I was thinking of saying i have been travelli9ng for 9 months or so!!!

Any ideas?

I would really appreciate it.



I wouldn't lie to potential employers but I'd try to think of ways to make quitting your PhD sound like a positive decision.

Maybe think about what you've learnt about how you like to work and what sort of working environment would suit you. I expect that many employers will understand that academia isn't right for everyone so by presenting quitting as a well informed career choice you might still make a good impression.

(Disclaimer: I have no experience in quitting myself, but this is probably the approach that I'd take. Good luck.)


Hi Zeeba,

I'm sorry your PhD program isn't working out. If you're filling out an application form, it's best to write in that you were working on the PhD for nine months, because this is where they are looking for gaps in your employment or education. I wouldn't put on the CV, however, because prospective employers use the CV to see how well your experiences/skills match the job. From the employers point of view, nine months isn't really long enough to say that you learned something of value to them. On the CV, they only want to see what's most relevant to the job for which you're applying. You can always elaborate in the cover letter, or during the interview.

In the cover letter (or if you get an interview) is where you can delve into details. You could say something along the lines of, "I was in a PhD program when I learned about the job opening at Dell Labs. I didn't want to miss this opportunity." or "I was pursuing a PhD in Chemistry, when I realized my real passion is pharmacology." or "I would like to get more experience working in robotics before continuing a PhD in Instructional Technology." or "I enjoyed the research in the PhD program, but the projects here at Dell are far more creative, and innovative. I think I have more to offer in this environment."

This is all just my opinion, but I think whatever you say, make it sound like a positive decision. I do hope you feel like the decision is your own, and not that you're being forced out by a sexist pig.

Good luck!