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Am I right to encourage DP to follow his dreams?(4 Posts)
DP (27) has always been very academic. He now does a job he enjoys and pays well but it's not a passion for him. He has the opportunity to do an msc in a course in a related subject he has been absolutely fascinated with for years - he'd be able to do it part time while working 4 days a week. If all goes well he'd want to go on to a PhD and a career in academia. If it doesn't work out, there are tons of opportunities in the field he currently works in he could go back to.
He's worried about having wasted the money for the masters if it doesn't lead to a PhD. My view is that even if it doesn't lead anywhere in academia, he's unlikely to regret having done the course itself and it could also lead to related jobs in the field in industry if he doesn't go down the PhD route.
If he carries on in his current job he would earn more money faster, which is of course a concern for him. The msc / PhD route is of course much less lucrative, but his subject is in a very high demand STEM subject and I think he would get back to earning ok/good money eventually, so what better time to do it than now? I don't want him to have any regrets in 10 years time.
We have no children, are buying a flat this year. My job is stable, pays ok money and is in a passion field for me, which is possibly influencing my view.
If I were being sensible I would probably encourage him go to straight to the high-earner route. Am I nuts for encouraging this?
My DH is in academia too, same kind of age, and I've always encouraged him not to worry about the money for the moment (while we are relatively comfortable), and just to find an area in research that he loves. My feeling is that we have decades of work still ahead of us, it's better to change direction now while it's still early, rather than try later when it's more difficult, and with more financial obligations, or always regret it. If you can afford it and don't anticipate needing the money in the near future, then go for it!
Just to add, I was very affected in my final undergraduate year by one of the STEM lecturers who confessed to us that he had gone so far down one academic route, it was impossible to move sideways without starting over. I think he was in his early 30s and he was in tears about it. If your DH had this opportunity now to go into a field that he loves then that would be amazing. How many of us are lucky enough to find a career that inspires and fascinates us?
Thanks Sunrise. I've read a lot too about how difficult it is for early career academics recently too, which is another concern. Though I wonder if it is slightly easier in STEM fields?