Future Plans | #6

I never thought about it much (if at all) during high school, but since I started college, I’ve been asked if I’m considering a PhD more than once. It caught me off-guard the first time. I brushed it off, assuming it wasn’t realistic, and that belief continued for a while. After all, all of the PhD students I’ve met talk about it so comfortably that it seems like they’ve known it was for them their whole life. While a few of the graduate students I know set their hearts on a PhD early in their academic careers, talking to them about it revealed that most of them didn’t decide until they were well into or almost done with a college degree already.

I still haven’t decided either way since it’s quite the commitment, but it seems much more reasonable now that I’ve multitasked experiments of my own, maintained a lab notebook, gone to lab meetings, and attended preliminary talks. I’m planning to complete a master’s degree regardless, so I’m hoping that that experience will help me decide by then if I haven’t, in addition to giving me a little more time to choose.

The other question I’ll need to answer is whether or not I want to stay in academia or go into the industry. Though I do love working in a university research lab, I’m leaning more towards the industry in order to have a schedule I think I’d prefer.

One thought on “Future Plans | #6

  • June 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on doctoral education and academia vs. industry, Emily! It’s definitely helpful to think about if you think graduate school should be in your future plans early on so that you can prepare accordingly. That said, you’re entirely correct that a lot of people really don’t figure out until later on that they want to get a PhD. It’s very common to graduate from college and go work for a couple of years before going back to graduate school, so you definitely don’t have to have all the answers figured out now. Keep on exploring your options, and the right decision will come in due course.


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