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PhD offer and major doubts..(7 Posts)
So just looking for some advice really. No one in my family has as much as an as-level so i have no one in my personal life to talk to!
I am currently a final year BSc student due to be graduating this summer in a relevant but ultimately niche field (Agriculture related). I have never really known what i wanted to do afterwards, but the opportunity for a funded 4 year PhD has come up in my area of interest and by some stroke of luck i have been offered it!
Was feeling pretty positive...until I sent them my confirmation of acceptance. Now having major wobbles about the whole thing. I have been thinking about pros and cons and will try to put them into words as best as i can.
- I have always enjoyed problem solving and finding answers and have
hence really enjoyed my undergrad research project this year
- The field of study is largely aligned with my interests (granted I wouldn't have necessarily come up with the question myself but I can see myself finding it interesting nevertheless)
- The salary is more then enough for me to live off of
- The location is ideal
- I know the supervisor well and have a good relationship with them
Pros that are ultimately not very good reasons but i will list them nonetheless:
- It would be very cool to be Dr HighlyCaffeinated
- Goodness knows how the job market is gonna end up after all this, so I would have at least 4 years worth of financial security
- I would always been academically minded and would just like to see if i can do it!
- I doubt my abilities --> more of a confidence thing, always have done
- I am fully aware of how awful the academic job market is and really don't fancy moving all over the country fighting for temporary post doc positions
- If i don't end up in academia, i will be 27 upon finishing with no 'real' industry experience, is a PhD likely to be a barrier to getting industry jobs?
- If I do manage to move into industry, i will be years behind and will likely be on a much lower salary than if i were to just start now
- I have suffered with anxiety badly in the past so concerned for my mental resilience as i know its going to be a stressful old slog
If anyone who has, is working towards, or has decided against a PhD (science or otherwise) could offer any sort of advice, I would be hugely grateful! My heads a bit all over the place at the minute.
Go for it, and be incredibly proud of what you have achieved, and what you are going to achieve.
Believe me, 27 isn't too late to be looking for a job outside of academia if you do decide to do that in the end.
the 'pros' outweigh the cons here by a magnification of so many, it isn't worth throwing away this opportunity. Grab it with both hands.
I think in this climate, financial security for four years isn't a minor thing, and you'll still be young when it ends.
Why not email the supervisor and ask to talk frankly about non-academic career paths this PhD would be good for? If they're any good, they ought to be able to tell you what other grads have done over the last few years.
You obviously don't want to be in academia (there's no avoiding the postdoc cycle of crap), so go into it with your eyes open and you ought to be able to tailor the PhD towards likely jobs, I would think.
Btw, don't assume at the outset it'll be stressful and horrible. Doing a PhD can be a really nice experience too.
Congratulations! 100% do it. Your pros far outweigh your cons.
I didn't find it stressful at all (even though my director of studies was terrible). I discovered my own interests and strengths, made lots of friends and came out of as Dr. All good.
You have plenty of time to look for career direction. Doing the PhD will expose you to routes and connections for that.
Go for it - it's a fantastic opportunity. Be proud of yourself and what you've achieved already. It will open up many rich experiences and opportunities.
Thank you all for your replies, it is interesting to hear opinions and am definitely feeling more positive! Still have some thinking to do but certainly less overwhelmed! Thanks!
Do it! If you have funding, you are up to it. And enjoy yourself.