(Closed) Tempted by friends doing PhD

posted 6 years ago in College
Post # 3
Member
334 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I am in a Ph.D. program, but in a different field where a graduate degree is critical. I’m not as familiar with the field of education. Is it necessary to pursue a Ph.D. to do what you want to do? What sort of additional doors might it open for you?

Post # 4
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

What is your career goal?  Are you teaching?  

 

I have considered whether I want to get my PhD.  If I did, I would get it from Ohio State University in Children’s Literature — their program is the best.  However, I don’t live in Ohio. I also have no use for a PhD.  As a reading specialist, I only need my master’s and professional development/continuing education — I don’t need a PhD.  It would make me too expensive for most school districts to hire, too, especially since I only have about five years of experience teaching.  So for me, I won’t get my PhD until I’m much older (maybe when the kids are in college…I’ll move to Columbus for a while.  Ha my fiance would love that!).

Post # 5
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m in the same boat a level down – a lot of my friends are pursuing their masters right now – a year in or applying for next year.  It makes me sad that I’m not, and sometimes I think I really want to.  FI and I have decided that I will take the next year off school for us to honeymoon, travel, spend time together, maybe get pregnant, think about a house – just to adjust.  In that time I am not going to work, instead I will work on my writing to see if that will go somewhere.  With all the other life adjustments it is a huge commitment to go to school… but I love it.  Maybe the year after, we’ll see.

It is so different for friends who are on their own.  This past weekend I really felt that – we were studying together/workshopping our writing and I left for dinner for an hour in the middle.  FI and I make a point of eating together when we can and he was home at the time, so I figured I’d just go and come back as this was an all day thing.  I felt SO weird doing that with my friends – they asked why I had to do that and can’t he fend for himself, etc.  But it isn’t about that, its about the time and commitment.  Academic friends don’t seem all that supportive of family building and relationships because I’m supposed to be a liberated feminist (oh the irony).  

I guess what I’m trying to say is do what you think is right for you.  Why don’t you try to get a job with your degree now, and see where that goes?  If you have debt, it is probably good to try to get it paid off but you say your parents paid for your masters.  You could save up for a while, get some real world experience, and when you are a year into it see if you want to go back to school.  Having been working for a bit and then pursuing the PhD will give you a hands on material to work with too.  Your situation is a bit different from your friends.  Although it is sad and you feel you’re missing out, there are so many other wonderful things coming into your life!

Post # 6
Member
3585 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@weightwatchers152:  Skimiming your post, it seems that you want a PhD becuase others are doing it.

Online? Make certain that is the credential that counts in your area and in your field.

Personally, I think selling online PhDs (and you get money for it? You mean, money that you have to pay back, right?) is the latest near-scam. It’s not an out and out scam, but remember those moartgages given to people who did not remotley qualify? Similar widespread issue. I doubt that a doctorate online is an endeavor that will pay off for you. But see, here’s the thing: you need to be a skeptical consumer. This is a consumer product being sold to you and you are the one who has to look ata the product you get to see if it is worth it.

Some people might tell you that PhD in education and little to no experience (I don’t know how much work experienc eyou have) leads to 0 job opportunities.

 

Post # 7
Member
8042 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@weightwatchers152:  I think it depends on a lot of factors. Are you doing this because you’ll be guaranteed more money? Is education a field where a PhD is necessary to get ahead (like psychology)? I really don’t know too much about what a PhD would get you in the world of education.

You don’t have a lot of work experience, so I am thinking that this may hurt you unless you’re planning on going into academia (like being a professor). More degrees doesn’t automatically make a person more employable. My sister has a masters from a top university and she can’t find anything in her field. She never had a break from schooling and now is overqualified for most jobs but doesn’t have that much real job experience. She is considering doing a PhD but plans on going into academia.

It is a huge commitment and sounds like it won’t be especially easy financially for you, so I would think long and hard. If you think it WILL pay off financially, and you have a plan then go for it… but if you’re just taking it because you love school and you want those letters after your name, it may be a bad choice.

Post # 8
Member
9198 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@weightwatchers152:  I would be super dubious of any program that lets you get a PhD entirely online.

I don’t know about your field, but in mine, there are WAY too many people getting PhDs for the number of jobs that await them afterwards.  It’s really tough to get into academia (and you often have to do 5 years of post-docs in whatever hellhole you can before you can even apply for tenure-track jobs).  And if you’re not interested in academia, a PhD can often be a hinderance because employers view you as over-qualified and costing a lot more.

I’m not trying to totally dissuade you, but I would highly advise doing a LOT of research about what your exact job prospects would be.  Especially in this economy, and especially if you’d have to pay for your PhD.

Post # 9
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Oh my goodness…the only time I ever considered going back to school was after I originally graduated with my BS in biology.  I had made a deal with myself that if I didn’t have a job after a year I would go back so I could get a teaching cert to teach biology.  I finally got a job after 10 months. 

After that I’ve never considered going back and I really don’t need a MS in my career.  I have friends that went on and got their MS but one of them is now stuck inspecting septic tanks and probably still owes over $50 in student loans.

Post # 10
Member
4520 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@weightwatchers152:  I’m also tempted to get a PhD, because I want to do more research in my field, and I think having the credential would help me a lot. 

But — I’m married and pregnant and … I’m just not sure it’s really worth it.

Can I ask where your friend is getting a PhD online? What university is it? From what I’ve heard, that’s not possible, but I could be wrong. If it were possible, I’d be all over it! I know someone who got a doctoral degree of some kind online, but it’s not a PhD.

Anyway, I would just ask yourself why you want a PhD, what your life goals are, and whether you need a PhD to reach those goals. 

Post # 12
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

A PhD is a huge commitment, and quite frankly can really make you question your own self-worth sometimes. It’s just you and your thesis, which can get pretty crazy. So unless you have a clear reason why you need it, I would definitely caution against it. As a personal note, my phd program is in the sciences so it’s a bit different but my mother almost got a phd in education. She had completed the coursework, qualifying exams, and had even done most of the research, but never finished writing the dissertation. Her reason? Among other things, the birth of me. I asked her onceabout it, and she says she doesn’t regret not finishing. Basically she was only doing it to get into administration, which she later decided not to do. Moral of the story- if you don’t see yourself asanything other than a teacher, it’s probably a huge headache and potential self-esteem hit you don’t need.

Post # 13
Member
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

@weightwatchers152:  You need to determine what age group you’d like to teach.  If you want to work with students who are K-12, you have absolutely no need for a PhD at this point in your career.  If you want to teach post-secondary students, then a PhD could be helpful, and you should also look into teaching at community colleges in the meantime.  

Where do you live?  What are you certified to teach?

Post # 14
Member
2425 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

As a PhD student, it sounds really fishy to me it being an online program (hybrid or otherwise) that offers funding. And also, to my knowledge, there are not very many TA/RA-ships available in humanities in general, so once again it boggles my mind that this is even an option. I go to an R1 school and am in the sciences where it’s common to be funded because you do research for a professor or teach ungergrad courses, but at my school, there are much fewer funding opportunities in the humanities and education, if at all.

Is the program reputable at all? A PhD can be a great thing, but if it’s some brand new tiny program that doesn’t have a good reputation, it’s not gonna help your resume.

My best is advice is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Actual PhD’s are a LOT of work….I work at least 70 hours a week and get paid way under minimum wage per hour when you do out the math. So sure, I have a fully funded graduate education at a great school, but the school is getting their money’s worth out of me no question.

Post # 15
Member
1448 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Online courses are hard.  There may be some who prefer that format but I would prefer going to class in person.  I’m getting my master’s online because it’s the only way I can do it working full-time.  If you don’t have the self-discipline to stay on top of an online course it will be tough to keep up.

I’m not sure what PhD programs are like in education, but in the sciences they are brutal.  This decision is something that you will need to consider carefully.  I would not do it because “everyone else I know is doing it”.

Post # 16
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Uhh I’m finishing up my graduate degree (MSW) and I can’t wait to get back into the field.  I worked about 5 years doing homeless youth case management.  I can’t stand school.  You kind of need a Masters to advance in my field…but there is definitely NO MORE school in my future.

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