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Regret not going Ph.D.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:08 am
by toby
Hi all,

This is a question for those of you who don't have a Ph.D. or have contemplated getting one. Do any of you regret NOT getting the Ph.D.? I often hear the other side of the story, Ph.Ds who regret getting their Ph.D. and some who don't, but would like to hear the otherside. Thanks.


Regret not going Ph.D.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:00 am
by Lora
That's the whole reason I went back for my Ph.D.! I spent several years working with only a B.Sc. and got very frustrated with it. Mostly, I wasn't allowed to make any decisions, and I spent a lot of time watching managers make bad decisions. Whenever I (or the QA people, or the other technicians) explained why we needed to head in a more feasible or, for lack of a better word, *modern* direction, my input was frequently ignored and often patronized because I hadn't got my wings, and I was told so in no uncertain terms. I couldn't move ahead in my field, and lots of jobs in the Midwest make you spend several months, if not years, as a temp before offering a permanent tech/associate position, while Ph.D.s are routinely hired as full-time senior scientists, even if they end up producing very little work and quit or get fired within months. I ended up losing my health insurance after a layoff because all the available jobs were temp-to-perm arrangements with no benefits.

The thing you have to remember is that businesses, like any organism, don't function optimally--they function well enough to get by till the next quarter, the next fiscal year, the next stockholder meeting. Lots of businesses have poor HR practices, and with a B.Sc. you're considered replaceable with a single call to LabSupport. It doesn't matter much what your skills or background are like.

On the up side, no one cared if I worked two jobs. Even working for competitors and subcontractors was permitted at one company I worked for, where part-timers often worked for subcontractors, competitors, and usually for restaurants on the weekends. I was usually allowed to go home (or to my second job) at 5:00. That doesn't sound like much of a privilege, but depending on what the local unemployment rates are, it can be quite a lot: in the town where I did my undergrad degree, there's a 25% unemployment rate and wages are 10% less than they are even an hour's drive away. Imagine being stuck making $8/hour for ten years, and you see what I mean about the importance of having a second job.

Regret not going Ph.D.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:34 pm
by Bill King
You did not mention your fields.. chemistry perhaps? or microbiology?