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how do you tell your adviser you don't want to do research ?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 dandoe123

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 07:42 PM

just curious...

for those non-academic PhDs... if such thing exists. how do you tell your adviser that you don't want to do academic research anymore? if he adamantly objects to your career decision, who do you go to for good recommendations?

#2 thefallguy

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Posted 11 February 2005 - 07:14 AM

waking up early is much better than waking up late. Tell your boss that he is fired and walk out. references can be always picked up through limited volunteer service in the areas of work that interest you.

Good luck

#3 dandoe123

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 05:04 PM

uh...... what the heck are you talking about? waking up earlier... ?! :P

maybe i wasn't clear, but i'm finishing my PhD. i'm in my 3rd year... that's a little too much time investment to walk away with a lousy masters which i'll have to explain to every future job interviews. my original point was this...

my adviser is a world-renown scientist in his field... because of his status, i'm assuming he expects all of his students/post-docs to love reserach and go on to a career in research. when i'm ready to graduate in let's say 2-99999 years... what if i don't want to do research anymore? people have told me that it's my life and i shouldn't care what the adviser says... and while there's some truth to this... i'd still need his reference for any fugure jobs, no?

anyone out there who's taken on a non-academic job upon graduation have any relevant story they'd like to share?

Thanks

#4 MoleculeMan

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:07 AM

I was in your exact situation about two years ago, although I think my distaste for resaerch was caused by the environment created around me by my advisor and the other PI's that I worked with. I really loved the science, but I dreaded the thought of any career that Ph.D. would get me. I decided that I had enough data to write up a substantial thesis and I graduated with a "lousy masters degree" after being in the program a little over three years. Basically I sat down wtih my advisor and the rest of my comittee and told them that I could see myself being the PI of any lab, I wanted to be able to go to work and come home at 5:00 and spend the rest of my night with my family, not writing grants or stewing over the next experiment. We all agreed that that finishing with a masters was probably in my best interest.

Since I have graduated, I have had two temporary positions and I am finally in my first full time position. In all of the interviews that I have been in, no one has asked why I only have a masters degree, they have no idea of the choices I made, and frankly it wouldn't matter. I honestly think it would be alot harder to find a job outside of your field (or even within your field) with a Ph.D. than with a Masters. The demand for science Ph.D.s in business just isn't there.

Anyway, best advice is just to sit down with your committee and be honest with them. If you are fraid that your advisor is going to give you a hard time, make sure you break it to them all at once so the rest of them can help form your advisors opinion. I still have great relationships with all of the people that I have worked with and I am very happy with my current occupation and the decisions I have made.

Anyway, I hope at least a part of this helps somewhat. <_<

Edited by MoleculeMan, 25 March 2005 - 11:28 AM.


#5 planktonica

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 01:41 PM

I agree with Molecule Man. Most Industry jobs don't seem to require PhD (Some of them do, but is not the common case scenario). Most of them require EXPERIENCE. Or a "lousy Masters Degree" and a little less experience. I think that in most cases a PhD is needed to pursue academic research, other than that, you should not have any problem getting a job in your field with a MSc.

#6 GeorgeWolff

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 02:49 PM

Wrong - most relevant industry jobs (other than as technicians) DO require PhD's and these folks will be even more populous in pursuing these jobs in the current economic climate.
As a manager (with a PhD) in a multinational company with substantial R&D needs - I'd not even look at a MS for a PhD position. Like it or not - the presumption is that the masters person didn't have the drive to get a PhD - translated to not having the drive to suceed ion the highly competitive business environment. Many of the PhD 's hired will be "business" managers in 5 years.
The MS will be looked at as an overqualified BS and will start as one - effectivley as a technician. The person could progress up the advancement scale but it will take alot longer and with much lkesser potential than the PhD.

What do you care what your PI says after you graduate? Unles you want to go into a nontechnical career (advertising, etc) invest a little more time now, get the PhD and then do what you want. If you want to go into "business" get a business degree.

Edited by GeorgeWolff, 04 March 2009 - 02:51 PM.


#7 Harvardstudent

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 03:12 PM

Just say it! :o
You want to earn more money in a month than just 7 $ an hour! :lol:




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