What made you want to do a masters/PhD? Watch

Slowbro93
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As someone who's about to finish my PhD, I've been really reflective about my overall research journey.

But a question I have for people is, what made you want to do a masters/PhD? Was it career driven? Interested in specialising in a topic? Or just general interest?

I look forward to seeing your answers :teeth:
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Secretariat123
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I'm doing a PhD now. For me it is interest as well as career, as I can't really get a great job otherwise, and i also feel like my contribution through my research is new and maybe can help academia wise. Aside from that they send me on awesome conferences all around the world which is awesome.

Still, as I approach the end of my second year I do often feel like I'm losing my mind from all the material. It's why i end up on crazy forums like this!

(Original post by Slowbro93)
As someone who's about to finish my PhD, I've been really reflective about my overall research journey.

But a question I have for people is, what made you want to do a masters/PhD? Was it career driven? Interested in specialising in a topic? Or just general interest?

I look forward to seeing your answers :teeth:
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Notoriety
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The tax-free stipend of course.

More that I have a talent for academic law and thought I should make a career out of it; practice not particularly tempting me.
Last edited by Notoriety; 1 month ago
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I swore to myself after Oxford that I'd never EVER study again. But then I got seriously bored and confused by all the free time, so I ended up enrolling last-minute onto an MA course :rofl: :rolleyes: :facepalm: Then after that, I still had a ****load of things to say and no outlet in which to say them. So, after a few years of dithering (as well as caving into parental pressure), I signed up for a self-funded PhD course

For me, it's basically love of the subject and a pigheaded-ness in believing I'm the best/only person to fly the flag for ABBA :danceboy:
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Angury
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I swore to myself after Oxford that I'd never EVER study again. But then I got seriously bored and confused by all the free time, so I ended up enrolling last-minute onto an MA course :rofl: :rolleyes: :facepalm: Then after that, I still had a ****load of things to say and no outlet in which to say them. So, after a few years of dithering (as well as caving into parental pressure), I signed up for a self-funded PhD course

For me, it's basically love of the subject and a pigheaded-ness in believing I'm the best/only person to fly the flag for ABBA :danceboy:
Do you mind me asking how you self-funded?

I chose my MSc because I have an interest in the project, it's closely linked with my career and it's something I want to continue to study and make changes in the field. I may be a bit overambitious..
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Slowbro93
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It's really nice to see everyone's reasoning here

(Original post by Secretariat123)
I'm doing a PhD now. For me it is interest as well as career, as I can't really get a great job otherwise, and i also feel like my contribution through my research is new and maybe can help academia wise. Aside from that they send me on awesome conferences all around the world which is awesome.

Still, as I approach the end of my second year I do often feel like I'm losing my mind from all the material. It's why i end up on crazy forums like this!
I think it's for similar reasons that I ended up doing a PhD myself (this involved a complete switching of fields). Are you enjoying what you're doing though? And what's your subject?

Also, is your username bojack inspired?

(Original post by Notoriety)
The tax-free stipend of course.

More that I have a talent for academic law and thought I should make a career out of it; practice not particularly tempting me.
That sweet sweet stipend, it's nice but I do want a payrise now :rofl:

(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I swore to myself after Oxford that I'd never EVER study again. But then I got seriously bored and confused by all the free time, so I ended up enrolling last-minute onto an MA course :rofl: :rolleyes: :facepalm: Then after that, I still had a ****load of things to say and no outlet in which to say them. So, after a few years of dithering (as well as caving into parental pressure), I signed up for a self-funded PhD course

For me, it's basically love of the subject and a pigheaded-ness in believing I'm the best/only person to fly the flag for ABBA :danceboy:
What was me after I finished my degree at King's! How long time was it between your undergrad and MA?

(Original post by Angury)
Do you mind me asking how you self-funded?

I chose my MSc because I have an interest in the project, it's closely linked with my career and it's something I want to continue to study and make changes in the field. I may be a bit overambitious..
Nothing wrong with being overambitious, are you looking into PhD options after?
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Secretariat123
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(Original post by Slowbro93)
It's really nice to see everyone's reasoning here



I think it's for similar reasons that I ended up doing a PhD myself (this involved a complete switching of fields). Are you enjoying what you're doing though? And what's your subject?

Also, is your username bojack inspired?
Yeah it is really interesting. Topic is religion/political science related, what about you?

No its inspired by Craig Ferguson and the late late show!
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Myownconga
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Sort of half and half. I’m a teacher (up to a level) so I’d like to be able to have the option of teaching in HE at some point. Also degrees are kind of ten a penny for my generation so not having one probably makes you stand out more than having one.

I’ve been made redundant in horrendous circumstance and am not ready to walk into another school so it seemed like the one opportunity I might get to do my MA. I’m certain I won’t ever progress to PhD so this is my one shot. It’s also time, being Fine Art, to work on my own practice and do some soul searching.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Secretariat123)
No its inspired by Craig Ferguson and the late late show!
I didn't know any Brit knew about the Late Late Show (well, maybe the Carpool one). You like spicy salsa?
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Pfalzgraf
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Like doing a masters after undergrad, it just seemed like the next step on a natural progression - I enjoyed the subject and was fairly successful academically, so why stop now? It also helped that a couple of my close friends were applying for PhDs and potential supervisors were enthusiastic. I like being a PhD student, but I feel that the 'natural progression' has come to an end and I don't imagine going into academia (even if such a thing were feasible these days!).
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mnot
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(Original post by Slowbro93)
As someone who's about to finish my PhD, I've been really reflective about my overall research journey.

But a question I have for people is, what made you want to do a masters/PhD? Was it career driven? Interested in specialising in a topic? Or just general interest?

I look forward to seeing your answers :teeth:
Masters, id assumed i was doing this before going to uni, its pretty standard in my field to have a masters as well.

PhD (just starting), I never planned to do this, I was actually looking forward to getting a graduate job, but whilst on my masters I started meeting with a researcher at my uni because i really enjoyed the subject and then PhD discussion started from there...
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Secretariat123
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(Original post by Notoriety)
I didn't know any Brit knew about the Late Late Show (well, maybe the Carpool one). You like spicy salsa?
Haha no salsa, but I like it spicy!
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Plagioclase
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I really love my subject and I genuinely cannot think of anything I'd rather be doing in the world than what I'm doing for my PhD!
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marinade
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I love a large number of areas of science. I love teaching myself things. My entire life has been self study and teaching myself things. It's always been other things that get in the way - mental health problems, family issues, jobs.

It wasn't particularly planned. I had applied for masters' degrees before and got turned down so pretty much off the radar and pretty much given up. Also was very sceptical about the value of masters' degrees, the overlap of undergrad modules and packing them up as a master's etc. Met someone that said I think you should apply for a PhD knew what they were talking about, you'd be really suited and I think you'd like it. So did months of research and did.

Ironically the stipend is more than I've earned in any job. It's peanuts to a lot of staff/other people who've come into PhDs so I just keep silent on that one. Career/job pretty much dead before this. If I finish certainly some interesting new areas to apply for jobs in. Ironically enough I can pass PhD interviews, but I can't pass a job interview.

So basically a PhD is basically getting paid large amounts of money to do on paper what I want to do anyway.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by Angury)
Do you mind me asking how you self-funded?
Bank of Mum and Dad They didn't have the money for a long time and my mum has been working herself into the gutter just to pay my tuition fees I feel very bad about it, especially coz I'm so slow and my PhD is taking ages, but they insisted they wanted to pay...

(Original post by Slowbro93)
What was me after I finished my degree at King's! How long time was it between your undergrad and MA?
Literally a few months: finished Ox in June and started Goldsmiths at the end of Sept :teehee:
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Angury
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(Original post by Slowbro93)
It's really nice to see everyone's reasoning here



I think it's for similar reasons that I ended up doing a PhD myself (this involved a complete switching of fields). Are you enjoying what you're doing though? And what's your subject?

Also, is your username bojack inspired?



That sweet sweet stipend, it's nice but I do want a payrise now :rofl:



What was me after I finished my degree at King's! How long time was it between your undergrad and MA?



Nothing wrong with being overambitious, are you looking into PhD options after?
I'd love to do a PhD. I'm not sure about how you go about finding a supervisor and funding etc - it all sounds rather confusing. At the moment I'm just focusing on my MSc dissertation but it is something I want to look into.
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Realitysreflexx
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I feel like nowadays you should at least have an MSc. Otherwise your barely educated to any mentionable extent (sadly). Would love to waste three year's on a PhD.. But would much rather earn money and buy lot's of equities instead. So I'll stop after MSc. If i get lucky enough to need one though I'm totally open to getting an MBA later.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by Angury)
I'd love to do a PhD. I'm not sure about how you go about finding a supervisor and funding etc - it all sounds rather confusing. At the moment I'm just focusing on my MSc dissertation but it is something I want to look into.
Just ask in your department they should have tons of specific info... It varies slightly from uni to uni. Plus the professor's you've engaged with durin your MSc will probably be able to give you great advice on wether it's valuable to your specific skillset.
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mnot
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(Original post by Angury)
I'd love to do a PhD. I'm not sure about how you go about finding a supervisor and funding etc - it all sounds rather confusing. At the moment I'm just focusing on my MSc dissertation but it is something I want to look into.
Assuming you know the topic/subject (which you should), you can either find a studentship or if you have a more firm understanding about what you want to research then you can approach potential supervisors directly with a PhD concept.

Have a look to find the well known research groups in your field, on their websites they will link directly to available studentships as well as their researchers and their specialities. Once you've done this you can send emails, if you establish a rapport with the academic you can arrange a face to face meeting to discuss a potential PhD in more detail.

Then if you and the supervisor are on the same page you can send in a application or funding request.
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mnot
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
waste three year's on a PhD
Doing a PhD isnt a waste, its an investment.

Yes you only make about £15-20k a year atm but its all tax free, and you get several other benefits (I know some students whose total stipend + freebees adds up to £23Kish tax free, without being a TA or extra work)

I cant speak to other people but starting a PhD has given me the opportunity to work with some of the biggest players in my sector and build a professional network with senior figures in industry graduates would never get to have one to one meeting with, having done a year-in-industry its also pretty clear that people with PhDs (at least in engineering) 'climb the ladder' much faster.

And as for the MBA, well that costs like £40-50K at a top school and management consultants & financial services firms consider a PhD grad in the same applicant pool, so you save more money and dont have to get 5-6 years of work first (fyi getting accepted for an MBA from INSEAD, LBS or Said etc is extremely difficult, potentially harder than a PhD acceptance criteria).

So yes if having a slightly thicker wallet for your 20s is the most important criteria then a PhD isnt for you, but tbh PhDs are more because you have a passion for the subject and want to contribute to the sector rather then cashing in.
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