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PhD or Job?


User: sdtonnar - 06 April 2021 17:28

I graduated with a First in my undergraduate Zoology degree and took a year break to save for my masters.

I am now currently half way through my MSc Conservation Management of African Ecosystems at the University of Glasgow and am starting to think about what to do after I graduate. I am thinking of applying for a PhD at the same university with a topic I am very interested in, and subject to approval, be given an annual stipend and grants for tuition fees etc.

I am keen to stay around the Glasgow area for the next couple years at least, which is another reason why the PhD position of 3 - 3.5 years really appeals to me. I just want to make sure I would be making the right decision.

I would eventually love to end up doing a research associate job, project management or similar level but want to make sure that by going straight into a PhD instead of work I am not shooting myself in the foot when it comes to job prospects at the end of it. I have considered taking a research assistant job but these don't seem very common in my field of wildlife conservation, particularly in Scotland where I am from and would like to stay for the next few years or so.

I also want to take a break. I need one. Would you take the full-time PhD if it was offered to you and do that for 3 years? Would you ask to defer the start of the PhD until the following year? Would you do the PhD part time and find an industry job as well? Honestly I feel like I have been in university for so long, and I love it, but thinking of what will happen 3 - 3.5 years down the line really scares me. What would you do?

User: rewt - 08 April 2021 11:44

Hi sdtonnar,

I wouldn't do a PhD for the job prospects. Honestly it is hard to predict if a PhD will "pay off" financially. Some jobs require a PhD but they are limited and you can sometimes do them without a PhD. I personally think that a PhD is worth it if you enjoy the topic, then it is definitely worth it. A PhD is a chance to do 3 years of work on topic that you want and you will never get that in industry.





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