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Research in industry with just a masters?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:29 pm
by Dave Jensen
Derek (DJM) says, "In some companies indeed certain job titles are only available to people with certain qualifications and certain levels of responsability are only available to people with certain job titles, so there a master's would not get you very far. In others (mine for example) everyone is responsible for their own research projects regardless of their degree."

I made an assumption here that this valued frequent poster was from a pharma background. My mistake. DJM cleared this matter up and brought his current affiliation to my attention . . . a BIOTECH guy! Thanks Derek,


Research in industry with just a masters?

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:01 pm
by Joe W.
Thank you everyone for your advice! I really appreciate it and feel I have a better perspective now.

I worked full-time through my masters thesis in a completely unrelated job. So I think I may of shot myself in the foot because I have no experience working in industry! I don't really know what's out there for me.

I think my best bet is to find a job for one or two years, and then make a discussion. A PhD program sounds very exciting, but the amount of time required is also very daunting. I feel that I have real passion for research (like other people here), I just don't know if I can get by with a masters.

Hey, DJM, I never heard of getting a PhD part-time through company sponsorship. How common is a situation like this? very interesting.

Research in industry with just a masters?

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 4:11 pm
by Derek McPhee
The couple of people I know who followed that route were top performers who because of the rigidity if the technical ladder at their companies decided that a PhD was neeeded to advance. The companies reimbursed tuition and expenses (many have some sort of educational reimbursement program anyway), cut them some slack with time off to attend classes and a large part of the thesis research was also carried out at the company labs. It was obviously a part-time thing. They were also able to find a PhD advisor who would supervise a project "of interest" to the company.

Research in industry with just a masters?

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 5:22 am
by Dave Jensen

I know of industry sponsored PhD's as well, and one employer (major pharma) that does it for their top performers. They know they can't change the culture of the company, and that they need to provide some training to help people move up the ladder (and this often requires the PhD as we've discussed).

However, it is seen far more often in areas where the PhD can lead to more understanding of specific techniques. So, a chemist would be more likely than an RNA biologist to get this opportunity. I've seen them where Biochemists went back to get the PhD in protein purification sponsored by their employer, etc.

Dave Jensen, Moderator