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PhD Discussion Forum

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Computer Science PhD - Average Working Week


User: semaphore - 24 January 2016 20:47

I'm about to start a PhD in Computer Science. Obviously everybody will have different experiences but I'm working what the sort of 'average' working week, for those in and outside of this subject area, really is. I currently work a full time position as a standard 9-5 job. I hear horror stories all the time that I'll need to commit way more than that to the extent of including evenings, weekends, giving up on a social life, etc. Are there some happier stories than the dire ones I read online?

User: TreeofLife - 26 January 2016 08:26

It's not all about long hours.

In my first year I worked more like 10 to 5 and half of that was coffee, lunches and training sessions. In years 2 and 3 I worked maybe one or two evenings a week and maybe two saturday's a month (but that was because I was making up time from not working hard enough in the week). In my 4th year I worked every evening and weekend because I spent a lot of time in the week earning money in the department because I was unfunded in my 4th year.

Not everyone on here agrees but I still think a PhD is an easy life compared to jobs where I have worked 8-7 every day for 9-5 pay.

You just have to know when to pick up the pace and when to take it easy.

User: monkey84 - 26 January 2016 09:05

Quote From TreeofLife:
It's not all about long hours.

In my first year I worked more like 10 to 5 and half of that was coffee, lunches and training sessions. In years 2 and 3 I worked maybe one or two evenings a week and maybe two saturday's a month (but that was because I was making up time from not working hard enough in the week). In my 4th year I worked every evening and weekend because I spent a lot of time in the week earning money in the department because I was unfunded in my 4th year.

Not everyone on here agrees but I still think a PhD is an easy life compared to jobs where I have worked 8-7 every day for 9-5 pay.

You just have to know when to pick up the pace and when to take it easy.

I agree, my days tend to be 6-4 but with a two hour lunch break for eating and gym, so I'm probably doing about 7-7.5 hours work 5 days a week, I do all my planning etc at home. Everyone seems happy with what I'm doing so I've had no problems yet. It completely depends on what you're doing and you. I can sit there and solidly work for 6-7 hours straight whereas some people need a break every hour.

Try not to look at in terms of hours, set yourself small realistic goals and aim to hit those, reward yourself if you get to them early and work extra hours if you miss the goals.



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