To PhD or not to PhD?

That is the question that I’ve been pondering lately. I’ve been thinking a lot about pursuing another degree and I’ve even made a fair amount of progress on a draft research proposal. I get really excited about the possibilities, but instead of jumping in with two feet (as I usually do) I’d like to note some Pros and Cons.

Pros

  • support for more study and future research
  • potential to teach full-semester courses at the university level

Cons

  • leaving my current position
  • more debt

I’d love to perform more research. Of course, I can do that to a limited extent in my position, but I am currently an Administrative Faculty member which means it isn’t a part of my job description. And I love to teach! Proposing, designing, and teaching my very own courses sounds like an amazing experience.

But, I have been really lucky to find my current position; something which combines my love of emerging technology, outreach, and teaching in a way that is rare and well-suited to my talents. There’s always a possibility that I wouldn’t have to leave… but I know that to fully immerse myself in the project that I’m interested in working on would be extremely difficult to accomplish while working full-time. And of course, there’s the debt. I already have quite a bit, having financed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees with federal student loans. I think I would have to have a paid research position to make it work and even so, I might have to supplement a stipend with some other kind of income.

So, I’m still undecided. Though I’m definitely going to keep working on that research proposal!

2 thoughts on “To PhD or not to PhD?”

  1. Let us know if you do decide to get a PhD! I worked full-time and was a full-time PhD student for about a year, and it was hard! I later decided to quit my job to focus on my PhD, as my research was picking up pace. Considering you appreciate your current job, I can understand that would be a hard decision to make. I also have heard of (but actually don’t know anyone in my university) that worked and did the PhD – so maybe it’s possible!

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