Overview of Sharkbait

Recent Posts

Uni Rankings, how accurate?

Fiddling stats to get students (and their money) is what universities spend a lot of time doing. Find out the reputation of the course and ask around people who have done it already what it was like.

Is a really PhD worthwhile?

I can understand your predicament. If it was a funded PhD I would say go for it but the fact that you have to pay for it out of your own pocket is a huge commitment. Weigh up the pros and cons of this both financially, emotionally and for your future prospects. Its a huge commitment and it will put a lot of stress on your relationships with family-friends (you'll be working!). But at the end of the day if you can deal with all that, keep your motivation and get your PhD it'll be a huge personal achievement which you can be really proud of.

I would say straight away that getting into debt to do a PhD is a bad move especially if you are not guaranteed a high-paying job at the end of it.

Developing Thick Research Skin?

I understand that completely - I feel the same way.
I've had some horrendous experiences in my university recently which have given me a WHOLE different insight into how academics operate. Here's my tuppence worth:
1 - Academics have massive egos and like to hear the sound of their own voice
2 - There are all sorts of crappy politics going on behind the scene and sometimes one academic can be point-scoring against another academic (who is your supervisor) through you.
3 - Anything an academic says is designed to boost their own profile etc
4 - An academic always has to say something. If they're on a panel etc then they're going to say something. Even if it's the best work in the world they're going to find something to say which will usually be critical or incorporate some research of their own so as to impress all the other academics!!!!!!!!
My suggestion - if you know what the problems are try to figure out how to fix them. Don't worry too much about these idiots.
Don't take it personally - we are all nervous in these situations. Just stay positive and keep on going!!!!!!!!!!! 8-)

Supervisor too busy

Just new to the forum here and I can understand your predicament. My supervisors have been absent and no help throughout most of my research (to be honest they were useless anyway).

In my experience supervisors say something to you no matter what just in order to make themselves look smart. They have to look as if they are in control and on top of the situation so no matter how good anything is. They will always make some ridiculous suggestion. Academics have massive egos and have to say something. The vague throwaway comment is a perfect strategy for them.
If you don't understand what this person meant and it's going to take a lot of work to put it together anyway, then I would suggest you just ignore it.

Similarly is this "too busy" thing a recent development? How have you gotten on with your supervisor up to now?

Sorry for seeming so dismissive about the guy - I don't know the situation. One thing I do know for certain though - academics are selfish, ego-maniacal lunatics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!