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gradschool/job/-sorting my goal

PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 10:35 pm
by Kera T.
I have few questions about PhD study and employment opportunity afterward. I am debating between starting PhD now or a yr later or just doing MS. Bit background about me, I obtained a BS in chemistry n minor in math may ’06. I did undergrad research for 3 semesters in physical chem., and worked as lab tech for last 2 years in cancer bio lab on campus. I have been working as QC chemist in a startup R&D polycarbonate company since graduation. Here I get to interact with industrial PhD on daily bases because it’s a small place. Thus far I have been exposed to physical chemistry, biological and industrial/material science research.

The reason I didn’t go straight to gradschool was because, I didn’t know what I wanted after gradschool or out of it. My jobserach was a experience of its own and work life is different. I am glad I am experiencing this. Although I don’t want to be in QC, and was never satisfied with only a BS, I think I would ultimately like to be a development chemist in an industry. During my 3month performance review, me n my boss did career survey and he suggested I would be happy in development end.

I have 2 options opened up to me right now:
1) I can get a job at a bigger company, where advancement is easy. study part time for MS. Hopefully it won’t take long to reach a more research position. Or
2) Go straight for PhD and when I am done, I will restart job search and hopefully finding a new job won’t be hard.

My questions are: if I can get an industrial research chemist position with MS, should I try that out first? If I am not satisfied, I can always go back and get more educations? However, I am 21 yr old now; I have no family responsibility or anything. Dealing with long hours of study will be easiest right now then later on. On the other hand, I know finding job at PhD level is competitive. Is my one year industry experience sufficient or should I get more? Will one year experience make industry think, I ran back to school as soon as my opportunity came. With 2+ year experience, I am showing that I passed-on my first opportunity to run back to school, that I wanted to stay in the industry but went back for good reason. At the same time, I don’t want to spend too many years working at BS level job, that it jeopardizes my grad application. How long is good enough time to make myself a good candidate for industrial job right after PhD?

your advice to help me sort things out will be appreciated