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Is 3 years into a PhD too far to quit?

Posted by on Aug 14, 2016 in PhD Scholarships | 3 comments

Question by regardz: Is 3 years into a PhD too far to quit?
I’m not even sure I want a PhD anymore. And I definitely don’t want to post-doc for peanuts or work 80 hours a week writing grants. My program doesn’t exactly make it easy to stop and take your Masters either. I am looking for advice from scientists who either quit or didn’t quit a PhD program. Do you regret your decision? What kind of job did you find waiting?

Best answer:

Answer by jeremyteitelbaum
I did quit. I had finished all my classes and was ABD (all but dissertation). I was lucky to get a job doing what I really wanted to do, teach at a University as a lecturer, not a professor.
Although I dont want to be a professor, I wish I had finished. Just to have completed it, and to have the earned degree. I feel a little like I’m incomplete. I hope to be able to go back and finish it someday.
I’m sure I wouldnt care as much if I wasnt in academics.
Good luck on your decision…

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John O
John O

I haven’t even gotten my Associate’s yet, but I’ll answer anyway. One of my teachers is a doctor and he said that his last year all he had to do was write this big ass paper so he went on welfare and wrote every day for a year. That sounds badass. I have no idea what you should do. I don’t even know what I’m gonna do with the whole college thing.

The Answerer
The Answerer

Whoa! I’m not a Ph.D., but I would suggest you take a break away from your research. Relax and give it some serious thought. A breath of fresh air just might clear up your thought process and help you think more clearly. Over here in this part of the world, the Ph.D. program done after your Masters, is of three years duration. I ve seen a lot of Ph.D. research scholars nearing the finish line with no energy left. Three years seems to be me like quite a substantial investment of your time, are you sure you want to let… Read more »

Gary C
Gary C

At some future time, your PhD may be desirable. It is hard to imagine that quitting will somehow be an advantage. A PhD does not ‘force’ you to “post-doc for peanuts or work 80 hours a week writing grants.” So, you can do anything with a PhD that you can do if you quit.

If you can stick it out, life might get better and certainly will not get worse.