Is a PhD right for me?

15-Mar-20, 22:14
edited about 19 seconds later
by RanD0
Avatar for RanD0
posted about 3 months ago
Hi all, sorry if you get a lot of these but I figured if atleast someone responded it would help better inform my opinion.

This idea was recently sprung on me by my Third Year supervisor as I'm coming close to finishing my individual project (IP). I have enjoyed what i've been working on and definitely have ideas if I had more time that we both agree would make a good foundation for a PhD. Currently, I'm on a 4 year MEng course set to graduate next year with a scholarship (with job security should I choose).

Personally, I feel as though I see a lot more passion and interest from my collegues than myself but then occasionally (the last few weeks on my IP for example), I've been very interested in what I'm working on and genuinely excited to hit the simulation run button and see what appears. Part of me wonders if I've just had a poor choice of modules leading up to now meaning I haven't had my interest piqued. I know that I enjoy programming more than hardware and communications is something I've grown fond of over the last almost 3 years.

A couple concerns I have: It feels like I've already been waiting years to get out there and earn real money and actually invest in my hobbies/travels. I'm not the best at self-motivation/dedication, I leave work/revision to last minute and tend to have weak work ethic when the option to do something more "fun" is avaliable.

I'll be around to reply for a while if I've missed out any crucial details.

Thank you for reading,
16-Mar-20, 22:16
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 3 months ago
In engineering you should not be self funding PhDs. If your supervisor thinks it can get funding talk with and possibly consider it, otherwise take a job. I would take the lined up job and then consider a PhD later. As a job will not rule out a PhD later and will give you time to make the right decision.

About the PhD, do you like the topic enough to devote three years to it? If you are not passionate now, you probably aren't going to be motivated in three years. Research is really arduous and if you have no interest in research or the project, I don't think you should consider it. Sorry for being so harsh but a PhD is more a battle of motivation than sheer intellect. However if you do are genuinely interested in the topic/project and want to have a career in that specific area, I would consider it.
31-Mar-20, 13:26
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 months ago
I agree with rewt about PhDs generally (I know nothing about engineering PhDs), but I would add that the option of doing a PhD doesn't disappear. What I mean is, entering the world of work doesn't mean that you can't do a PhD later. In fact, it could fuel your research and would certainly tell you more about what areas you are or aren't interested in. Personally, I'd only start a PhD if /when I *really* wanted to, and if it was a pathway to a chosen career, as it ends up being a hard slog for most even when that is the case!
12-Apr-20, 23:41
by Summ3r
Avatar for Summ3r
posted about 2 months ago
I share very similar personality with you. I am now doing a PhD, and my teachers and high school friend would have never imagined that. I have roughly 1.5 year experience in the field I graduated in and soon saw that I do not enjoy the job at the frontline. While I am still hugely interested in the field, I went for a PhD.

So, I think you will also have to consider the difference of doing research vs working in your field. I did some research while in my bachelor, so I knew as soon as I started working. However, in your case, it might only be possible after you have had some working experience.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


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