Hi everyone, I'm currently studying my Msc Economics with Management and have seriously been considering doing a PhD in September 2008. Not for job propsects as such, but for myself. The trouble is I am worried about the effect a PhD will have on my job prospects (ironically). I don't want to become a teacher or an academic - hopefully I want to become an analyst (but not 100% sure)... All I know is that teaching/academia is not something I want to do for the rest of my life.
My family keep saying 'Just get the masters out of the way and then think about it', but I can't stop wondering what to do!? I know there is the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification which is probably more relevant to someone aspiring for an analyst-type role, but I feel as though at 23 yrs old I should just go4 the PhD and research what I want to research. Oh I don't know if I'm even making any sense! Does/Did anyone go through this? I'm afraid I'll end up over-qualified and without a job.
Listen to your family ... complete your MSc first and then think about what you would like to do next (you wouldn't be planning on doing a PhD until 2008 so you have time to mull over this).
If the PhD isn't appropriate to your future career development, then you should give it serious consideration about whether it is worth doing (i.e. for the meantime would it be more beneficial for you to do a professional course and secure a job that you want to do - then, in future years, you could do a PhD (part-time) for personal 'pleasure'). Yes, a PhD is primarily for careers in academia but some industries also look for people who have these. Personally, I would go with your 'gut instinct' - complete the Masters, do a professional course, get a job, then maybe do a PhD part-time in future years (based on the fact that you definitely do not want a career in academia).
Keep us updated.
Well I think Propects or Grad UK sent an e-mail round telling people about how increasingly industry are looking for people with PhD's....so I think the tide is turning. PhD's were seen only useful for academia but now indusrty has woken up to how useful PhD students in terms of all the skills and characteristics that they have.
In Germany, I am told because so many people have degrees you need a PhD to be a manager, but I don't know if that is true. I think the same will eventually become the case in this country.
Yes, that's true Hattie.
In Germany, a PhD/doctorate is almost essential if you want to work as a senior manager or management consultant. In general, people would give you much more respect for it (and you would also add to your passport and identity card)
I wonder why a PhD doesn't give you a similar status in UK industry as the time and effort to get on remains high. But perhaps, as you said, the tide is turning.
Perhaps in Germany but rarely in the UK. If Finance is your thing then a PhD is a no-no - it will do nothing for your career prospects in that industry. Why? Because the financial institutions like untrained graduates who have talent but who they can train their way (rather than have to undo the isolationist lifestyle a PhD entails). Therefore graduates are viewed more highly than doctors in that type of industry. Of course there will be exceptions, but a PhD in finance is only worthwhile if you're going into academia with it.
Have you seen the no of EngD's around? It seems like universities have lots of them and are begging to give them away! (Seems like gov new plan to have lots of engineering managers). Mind you I think anyone would have to be a mug to work full time and being doing a PhD at the same time.
Well thanks for your replies...
I was thinking maybe the phd was just acdemic but I think you are right. It requires skills that you just don't develop in masters level. Its also interesting about the way it is seen in germany compared to uk (i had no idea) but maybe the tide is turning towards phds. In the uk there are 50% of under 30s with a bachelors degree and obviously the next logical step is a masters.
One of the troubles with my masters is that it comes from a very lowly ranked university so its value is not the same as one from oxford. Thats part of the reason I considered doing a phd somewhere better. Oh its tricky! I have so much going round my head - there are other industry specific qualifications e.g CFAs but I just don't know!!!
I can confirm what Sylvester said.
It's really weird to cross a national border and to be faced with so many differences with regard to your doctorate. In one country they nearly bow down, give you better treatment at the airline queue and well-paid jobs, whilst in another country within Europe you are nearly forced to justify your decision to do a PhD.
I think it's ridiculous, regardless of positive or negative treatment, to be always labelled and pre-judged based on academic titles.
At the same time, I'm very proud of my PhD and I think it's all coming down to selling yourself well in a job interview. Not to feel ashamed of the PhD but to emphasise the extra skills and determination it took to get it awarded.
Thank you o.stoll
You are very right. Why should anyone have to justify their choices? (unless they involve hurting someone else of course). I think I am one of those people who needs outside reinforcement, whereas I should listen to my inside thoughts and feelings.
What did you do your phd in and where do you work now?? - I guess I'm trying to look for evidence that a commitment of three years of reseearch will lead to work.
Thats quite a good position to be in o.stoll. I know phd's are hardly ever used as a criterion for employment but I guess amongst other things it was something that made you stand above the rest... plus consultancy and research tend to overlap (Or so I've been told). Do you imagine you would have landed the position without the phd?
By the way what does the message from jouri mean exactly!???
EH304 I'm in the same boat as you; 22, just completed an economics MSc and want to use PhD to improve my skills and job prospects but not to enter academia.
If you have grades to get good funding and committed the PhD may be a good option and should at least to apply for Sept 2008. PhD's show an ability that cannot (arguably) be matched by any other qualification (MBA CFA ACCA.) What’s more, there’s a high chance your start at a level higher than undergrads. See
If your Maths is good you may be able to apply to quant posts too.
check this blog out for more info regarding areas that EconPhD may be useful in finance phdmbacfa.blogspot.com
If you decided to do it and your from the EU/UK try to get ESRC funding by making an outstanding proposal, a friend of mine gets more from this than he did from PWC
all the best,
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