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    Ph.D?

    Does anybody in CC community has a Ph.D?

    I am currently pursuing one in Computing after 8 years experience as a software engineer. Before coming back to school, I made descent money as a software engineer. I very enjoy my current busy life, but frankly I don't expect much after the degree.

    Nowadays, I sometimes feel that I may have more limitation due to my disability during/after the Ph.D work. As a complete C6, who cannot transfer by myself, it may be hard even to attend any major international conference.

    As an age of 40+, I am not also sure how long I can work. After considering all this situation, I sometimes wonder if I should work at a company as long as I can, and save more money for life after retirement.

    Any input/opinion?

    #2
    Would you guys tell me how you accept this comment? My advisor is often rude. Since English is my second language, I want to hear how you guys would accept this kind of statement.

    "Instead of thinking like this, you should be asking yourself, "Am I helping out this research group enough to justify a paycheck?". That's the question you should be asking at the end of every week or even every day."

    I have tried my best for entire my life, and my output was always better than most of other employees. Previous companies also recognized my outputs. It is very shame to me that I even have to worry about my contribution for a paycheck, which is less than what I paid for a tax before I started school again, after working 60+ hours a week.

    Comment


      #3
      first, i wouldnt let your disability stop you from attending conferences. i go to conferences all the time and that is the most exciting part of being in academia.

      as far as your advisor goes, i think that is a question every researcher needs to ask themselves: how am i contributing to this project?

      as long as you're making progress in your research, then i think you can answer that question better than others. i know some labs are harder on their students than others. best of luck.
      "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
      http://www.elportavoz.com/

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks crypticgimp,
        I also believe attending conferences will be the exciting part. For me, I even cannot get up from a bed by myself. So, I am not really sure how I can go to other state, other country to attend a conference.

        For me, I definitely think I make progress and I am one of better students, but if my boss doesn't think that way, I don't see any reason to stay. I don't use any excuse for my job and take full responsibility. If any boss doesn't like my job in any reason, I know I cannot change them. So, I need to change the job.

        Main reason I reconsider being a student is not the relationship with an advisor. It is more general reason. Nevertheless, I don't need to feel responsibility if a boss is rude.

        I wasn't sure if his statement is a general statement or he is saying I am not good enough for the paycheck. If it was the later case, it is very shame to myself and I don't see any reason to work with him.

        Comment


          #5
          you could bring an aide with you to the conference, you're allowed that, although i know it'd be an added expense.

          i have no idea if this was directly an attack against you, but honestly, quitting a phd program is tough. and if you want to get into another makes that more tough, especially if you've quit. and that is across the board, disabled or not.
          "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
          http://www.elportavoz.com/

          Comment


            #6
            crypticgimp, you stay up late tonight.
            I am not a rich person to bring an aide internationally..

            I don't sell my disability for my job and don't wan to limit my work ability because of my physical disability. I enjoy my current time, but I feel like I am getting older and not rich enough to stay at school. Also, I may need to support my parent financially. So, these things are the reason for my confusion. Since I have a good resume, I am sure I can get a job as long as I don't expect too much.

            Do you enjoy being a scientist?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by JK View Post
              Would you guys tell me how you accept this comment? My advisor is often rude. Since English is my second language, I want to hear how you guys would accept this kind of statement.

              "Instead of thinking like this, you should be asking yourself, "Am I helping out this research group enough to justify a paycheck?". That's the question you should be asking at the end of every week or even every day."
              I am just about to finish my master's degree and am headed into a phd program. If there is one lesson I have learned over the past few years, its that the world of academia can have its own special brand of pettiness, jealousy, and passive-agressive behaviour. I don't know if it's things like the competition for research money and the relentless pressure to publish, or if the bubble of university life just puts some people out of touch, but I can certainly sympathize with you hearing something like that from a supervisor.

              This past academic year has left me questioning many things about academic life, especially if I really want to commit to a phd program given things such as the time it would take, accommodations I would need due to my health, and the fact that my interests keep changing. It seemed like such a good idea at the time I was applying. Now, I am not so sure. But there are many good things about an academic career, and I try to remind myself of them when I am feeling doubt. Do you have anybody, like a former professor or employer, who can act as a mentor and serve as a sounding board for your concerns? I found that was really helpful for me when I was ready to decline the spot I was offered in a phd program.

              I have mixed feelings about academic conferences. I have attended several and logistically its been a nightmare each time. But its been doable. I guess it might depend which field you are in and what your exact career goals are, but I don't know that attending them is strictly necessary.

              Good luck.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by orangejello View Post
                If there is one lesson I have learned over the past few years, its that the world of academia can have its own special brand of pettiness, jealousy, and passive-agressive behaviour.
                I think you are correct and I am not sure if I can like the special something. In our life, it is all matter of where I am belong to. As a quad who uses English as a second language, unfortunately, I am not sure if I can fit ....... Oh well... let me stop here.

                Comment


                  #9
                  yes, i enjoy being a scientist. it is hard work but i love it.

                  research conferences are tough for me with the pain and pushing on carpet for hours on end. i usually just do a TON of planning and map out my days so i can nap or just put my feet up for a bit in the hotel room. i am lucky to have a research advisor that is supportive but i do understand it's rare.

                  research conferences arent really required. if you're teaching they may want you to go to present your work at a major conference but i dunno. i know my school does.

                  but definitely so much pressure
                  "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                  http://www.elportavoz.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JK View Post
                    I think you are correct and I am not sure if I can like the special something. In our life, it is all matter of where I am belong to. As a quad who uses English as a second language, unfortunately, I am not sure if I can fit ....... Oh well... let me stop here.
                    Maybe it's just a case of the program you are currently enrolled in not being a good fit? I am only familiar with Canadian phd programs, so I don't know what it is like where you are studying. Is it possible to transfer to another program/school? I do know at least two people who have done that, both of whom have now completed their phds and hold faculty positions at universities. I know it wasn't an easy process for them to switch, but they both managed to do it and were much happier in the end. But as I said, those these two situations involved Canadians schools. It might be different elsewhere.

                    If it was me, I would take a long, hard look at your career goals. If a master's degree will get you were you want to go (and it very well might, depending on the circumstances), maybe it isn't worth pursing the phd given how you feel. I have mixed feelings about phd degrees myself. I do see their value. But on the other hand, I think sometimes people get so specialized with their dissertation topic and research that they end up closing more career doors than opening them.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      crypticgimp: It is very nice to hear you love what you are doing. Hope you keep your passion.

                      orangejello: I very believe PhD has great value and I don't think situation between in Canada and in USA is much different. It is rather caused by myself I guess.

                      Computing degree requires lots of Math and prograrming skill. People talk together and write math equations on a board, and so on. I feel much limitation when I need to explain my thought on the board. Attending conference may not be a requirement, but everybody wants to attend it and actually do it. I don't have to, but I consider it limitting myself.

                      True. It all depends on people's long term career goal. Nevertheless, frankly, I am not sure what my long term goal is. As getting older, just simple life seems good enough. I enjoy busy life, but I can be busy enough with other work too.

                      Anyway, disability is not the major reason why I re-consider my situation and I almost decide to go back to work after this semester. I personaly don't mind chaning y plan at this point, but I really hate to talk to my advisor about quitting the phd program.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JK View Post
                        ... It all depends on people's long term career goal. Nevertheless, frankly, I am not sure what my long term goal is. As getting older, just simple life seems good enough. I enjoy busy life, but I can be busy enough with other work too.

                        Anyway, disability is not the major reason why I re-consider my situation and I almost decide to go back to work after this semester. I personaly don't mind chaning y plan at this point, but I really hate to talk to my advisor about quitting the phd program.
                        How long have you been in the Ph.d program?

                        Given your doubts and ambivalence, I think just putting your program on 'hold' for awhile would be better than quitting it now. Give yourself some time away from it to reassess your career goals, interests, and life in general, before making a definitive decision. You wouldn't want to quit, to then realize you've made a rash decision and have to start all over again, probably having to go through a much more difficult process as a result.

                        Talk to your advisor about all the demands required of you in the program, so you have a more clear idea of what is actually involved and what you'd actually be doing in the program and beyond - courses, research, teaching, etc. - so your expectations are much more aligned with reality. Stressing about 'what-if's' and what you think you might or might not be able to do is not only unnecessary but unhealthy. You don't want to make a life decisions based on fear and unrealistic expectations or misperceptions.

                        Your program likely wouldn't have accepted you unless you demonstrated potential and had, at the time, the passion, as well as having clearly expressed your interests and your goals. Try to go back to that place and think about why you wanted to pursue this direction in the first place and what you hoped to achieve.

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