A Dr PhD yet jobless

posted
03-Jun-14, 19:31
edited a moment later
by human 1 star member
Avatar for human
posted about 3 years ago
I finished my PhD 3 years ago, and yet still jobless.

Am I alone here? Just want to find some comfort.....:-(
posted
04-Jun-14, 01:27
Avatar for incognito
posted about 3 years ago
Hi human,
You're not alone- tbh I know PhDs who live with their parents and are jobless.

What's your PhD in?
What have you been doing since then in terms of publishing papers, attending conferences etc?
What sort of sector are you looking to get employed in?

All these issues can affect job prospects but trust me I know people with postdocs who are still unemployed after years of looking :(
posted
04-Jun-14, 05:44
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 3 years ago
No you are not alone! Welcome to the club of highly educated but unemployed! I am doing a postdoc now but I know there is nothing after and it is done for me! So I am looking for jobs outside of the ivory tower!
posted
04-Jun-14, 09:13
Avatar for MeaninginLife
posted about 3 years ago
I remember you. Your situation is special. Your supervisor claimed in a paper that she was the main author and you only contributed by performing the experiment.

It seems that your supervisor may not help you in getting an academic job.
However, even PhD candidates who have the support of supervisor applied for more than 60 jobs.
posted
04-Jun-14, 09:36
Avatar for charliebrown
posted about 3 years ago
Hi human
Same situation here. Finished my dissertation 3 months ago and returned to my home country. I am currently doing some proof reading and translation while waiting for a full-time job.
posted
04-Jun-14, 10:10
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 3 years ago
I spent a year unemployed after my second post-doc. I did finally find a job outside academia and have been in that job for a few years now. It's not the perfect job, but the dole has the effect of simply being in a job, any job, a priority over targeting your ideal career.

1) He'll be off as soon as something better comes along.

2) The job will be too boring for him.

3) Overqualified / Uni. Uni. Uni. on my CV.

I've heard it all.

I would love to do something more in line with what I did before, but I don't want to find myself back at square one and signing on again. As regards academia itself, although I miss the research work itself, one thing I don't miss is the inability to plan more than two to three years into the future financially (i.e. the normal length of contract in a research post).

Ian
posted
04-Jun-14, 10:45
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for littleowl
posted about 3 years ago
I really feel for you. I handed in my PhD at the end of January and had the viva two months ago, and haven't been able to get a job since. I still want to make it as an academic or at least do a couple of postdocs, so I've been applying for both postdocs/teaching fellowships to start next academic year and non-academic jobs to start immediately. I've only had two postdoc interviews so far and I messed both of them up. I feel fed up, worthless and really struggling to shake the feeling of 'what's the point? I'll never even get an interview' when writing job applications, and it's only been a few months, so it must feel awful after three years. I am very fortunate in that I have family who are supporting me, but their money won't last very long so I need to find a job, any job, soon.

I am this morning working on a research proposal for what might be my last chance to secure an academic position for the coming year - if that doesn't work out, it'll be time to start going into shops and cafés with the least daunting version of my CV that I can conjure up...
posted
04-Jun-14, 13:53
by marasp 2 star member
Avatar for marasp
posted about 3 years ago
In case you have not seen my story, I have recently handed in my PhD thesis (resubmission) and I currently work at a fast-food restaurant making sandwiches... full time! I had to hide all my postgrad qualifications in order to get the job, which pays national minimum wage.

Also, I had to apply with my maiden name, in case people googled me and discovered my academic profile, etc. Luckily, my personal ID is still in my maiden name (I only use my married name in academia).
posted
04-Jun-14, 14:17
Avatar for KimWipes
posted about 3 years ago
I hope some of those profs whom securing their own jobs by abusing PhDs and Postdocs read this thread...
posted
04-Jun-14, 15:54
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From KimWipes:
I hope some of those profs whom securing their own jobs by abusing PhDs and Postdocs read this thread...


Agreed, the image of the 'PhD' and post-doc and the reality are very, very different. Are we training our next generation of specialists in our respective fields or are we using the research council funding system to hire dogsbodies on a temporary basis so a pet project can be pushed through on the cheap?

Ian
posted
04-Jun-14, 15:55
Avatar for Swetchha
posted about 3 years ago
It's been 1.5 yrs, I am also struggling to get a job - had been to 10 interviews academic/non academic but no luck ! It really is frustrating :(
posted
04-Jun-14, 18:13
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Mackem_Beefy:


Are we training our next generation of specialists in our respective fields or are we using the research council funding system to hire dogsbodies on a temporary basis so a pet project can be pushed through on the cheap?

Ian


You've hit the nail on the head here for me. Why are our supervisors bothering to get PhD students up to a good standard and ensuring that they write a decent thesis at all when they know the majority are unlikely to be able to get an academic job? It seems logical for them to just give us a project to do so we don't have to think independently, make it as easy as possible for us to do the PhD by teaching us the technical skills rather than let us figure it out, write the papers themselves so they don't have to teach us how to write properly and mentor us properly so we don't stress out and can actually get results. But this isn't what they do in my experience! I think they are missing a trick here somehow! They should treat us more like technicians and it would be easier for us and them and more realistic. There's no point in training us to be independent researchers if we are unlikely to ever do independent research. That's my cynical thought of the day.
posted
05-Jun-14, 03:37
by brown
Avatar for brown
posted about 3 years ago
It is same story with me. I think the phD jobs are relatively rare outside the university environment. The only country that has many phD jobs is Germany where many of them have doctorate degree and it is a norm.
posted
05-Jun-14, 05:28
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Barramack
posted about 3 years ago
Anyone considering a PhD needs to fully understand how competitive academia is and that there will only be a handful of jobs at the end of it – which will be given to those who finish on time, publish papers, make good contracts, and have a well-credentialed/connected supervisor.

The purpose of a PhD is not to teach technical skills. It is assumed that a student is already technically proficient in a particular field before starting a PhD. You would be better off spending those 3-4 years working (e.g. in private industry) if you have aspirations to be paid well as a technical specialist, rather than be a researcher.
posted
05-Jun-14, 18:15
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Barramack:


The purpose of a PhD is not to teach technical skills. It is assumed that a student is already technically proficient in a particular field before starting a PhD. You would be better off spending those 3-4 years working (e.g. in private industry) if you have aspirations to be paid well as a technical specialist, rather than be a researcher.


I disagree. That's exactly what a PhD is for: training. Whether this is training technical skills, time management skills, people skills or writing skills etc etc. There are very few students who begin a PhD and are proficient in every area. I had zero technical skills when I started and my supervisors were aware of this, but took me on because I demonstrated abilities in these other areas. In their opinion, it is easier and faster to develop technical competence than it is to develop competence in other areas.

PS I have absolutely no desire to be a technician of any kind. I don't fancy being a dogsbody doing the boring repetitive stuff for the rest of my life. I prefer teaching, tutoring, mentoring and management.

My original point was, they are hiring PhD students to do research on the cheap. If they want better, faster results to get more publications and continue their careers, they should stop 'training' PhD students and start 'telling' them, to save themselves time in the long run. It used to be beneficial to train PhD students, because they would stay in academia and produce good research in the same field, resulting in collaborations etc. This is no longer the case, so there isn't much point in investing time in training a PhD student to be an academic.

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