Job or PhD after Masters...

25-Feb-19, 08:43
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for FutureProfessor
posted about 3 weeks ago
Before embarking on my Master's, my primary goal was to go into academia and do a PhD. But, whilst I am still very interested in that, I am doubtful about the prospects after the PhD and, at 23 years old, whether I should instead spend those 3 years gaining valuable experience, making more money and have more diverse career prospects.

A job seems to be more fitting to my personal goals (i.e. driving, moving out, dating etc.) and financial goals (i.e. increase savings, invest, start side-business etc.). I will not likely earn much on a PhD (if I even get funded at all). On the other hand, a PhD seems more fitting to my personality, need for autonomy and skills.

I think the best option would be to work for 2-5 years and then consider whether I wanted to pursue a PhD after I have achieved said goals and got industry experience.

I am keeping my options open, so I will not disregard a PhD opportunity nor a job opportunity depending on which comes first. But, PhD applications tend to take much longer to process and requires more preliminary work compared to jobs.

I just wanted to share this to hear your opinions and any experiences you have had with this.
25-Feb-19, 15:54
edited about 28 seconds later
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 3 weeks ago
I always say, do a PhD if you think you can spend 3 years working on that project. You could love being a PhD student and be amazing at research but hate the project. If you love the project you can do the crazy hours for awful pay without breaking a sweat - which makes things easier in the long run. A PhD is rarely a good investment but something you chose to do.

So I wouldn't rule either out, but look at the compare the contents of the job with the contents of the PhD.
25-Feb-19, 19:01
edited about 23 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 weeks ago
FutureProfessor, what stands out from your post is that in listing all of your goals, not one of them describes what you want to do on a day to day basis as a career.
That is a big list of things which is going to eat at you in the bowels of your PhD when the nights are long, success is a distant memory and all your friends are amassing the things you dream about. I would be very concerned about whether you are in the right place just now to start that journey.

A job industry will gradually give you skills and autonomy plus everything else on your list. Honestly, that sounds like the best option for you,


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