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#1
I finally did it. After 3.5 years of slaving away in a laboratory, I quit my PhD. I haven't felt this much weight being lifted off my shoulders since I first moved out of my parents house.

I am now going to become a teacher because fuck working in academia or industry. I have had my fill of it. Life is too short to waste it on things that make you miserable.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#2
Good for you man Good luck with it all!
Come back if you want to
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‘Cause there's nothing here for you my dear
And everything must pass
#3


just stay away from children, they're evil
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#4
Quote by Guitardude19
I finally did it. After 3.5 years of slaving away in a laboratory, I quit my PhD. I haven't felt this much weight being lifted off my shoulders since I first moved out of my parents house.

I am now going to become a teacher because fuck working in academia or industry. I have had my fill of it. Life is too short to waste it on things that make you miserable.


Sometimes it is far harder to face up to the realization you're not doing the right thing, than just following it through. Fair play, I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision, but it was a choice and you made it, it wasn't made for you.
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#5
Quote by Guitardude19
I finally did it. After 3.5 years of slaving away in a laboratory, I quit my PhD. I haven't felt this much weight being lifted off my shoulders since I first moved out of my parents house.

I am now going to become a teacher because fuck working in academia or industry. I have had my fill of it. Life is too short to waste it on things that make you miserable.


Do yourself a favor. Take a deep breath, reassess, then finish your PhD. The fact is a PhD is an invaluable asset if you want to go far in the education field. It makes advancement far easier.
#6
Quote by TobusRex
Do yourself a favor. Take a deep breath, reassess, then finish your PhD. The fact is a PhD is an invaluable asset if you want to go far in the education field. It makes advancement far easier.
education doesn't pay and a PhD makes you unemployable. Good move OP

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#7
Isn't a PhD generally 3-4 years? Anyway, I quit mine in the first month after being screwed over by other research institutions and health issues.

Luckily found a better job that actually pays the bills.
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#8
Fucking well done man!
A poem.
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#10
I've already got a PhD if you catch my drift.
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#11
Good work. Live for yourself. It always feels better to get out of something like that if your heart really isn't in it.
#12
Quote by Xiaoxi
education doesn't pay and a PhD makes you unemployable. Good move OP


Education doesn't pay if you are in the wrong job/location. A school superintendent with a PhD can pull down $150,000 or more a year. Get a job teaching at a local college and work your way up the totem pole. College deans and presidents make pretty good bucks, sometimes university presidents make more than the Governor of the state.

If you are hired by the Governor to run the Department of Education, and I know somebody who did that, you can easily pull in over $200,000 a year and have a massive payroll department under you and a staff of many folks. It's people that have connections like this who move on to serious bucks in the private sector (thanks to connections with the governor's office).

It's rank and file teachers that make crap money. You'd probably make more money selling vacuum cleaners than teaching at a public HS in a red state.
#13
Quote by TobusRex
Do yourself a favor. Take a deep breath, reassess, then finish your PhD. The fact is a PhD is an invaluable asset if you want to go far in the education field. It makes advancement far easier.


This decision came after thinking about it for the better part of 9 months. It was not an easy decision to make. My research was not yielding enough results that would constitute a PhD. I would not have passed the viva. Its a waste of my time and the time of the university to have me continue. I have an MSc already so I would have to reject an offer of an MPhil.

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I've already got a PhD if you catch my drift.


... Let me see it. I hope its more than 8 inches.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
Last edited by Guitardude19 at Apr 23, 2016,
#14
Quote by TobusRex
Education doesn't pay if you are in the wrong job/location. A school superintendent with a PhD can pull down $150,000 or more a year.
lol what are the likelihood of this?

Get a job teaching at a local college and work your way up the totem pole.
LOL wow, a bit out of the loop

http://www.businessinsider.com/many-adjunct-professors-require-welfare-to-supplement-their-low-wages-2015-10

If you are hired by the Governor to run the Department of Education, and I know somebody who did that, you can easily pull in over $200,000 a year and have a massive payroll department under you and a staff of many folks.
...again wtf is the likelihood of this?

It's rank and file teachers that make crap money.
one more time...guess what the likelihood of this is.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#15
I'm not in the education sector, but I'm apprehensive to believe that a Ph.D is anything but overkill for a teacher. And if we're to take TobusRex's suggestions, I don't know how well a doctorate in the natural sciences could help. AFAIK, people who get into administrative positions in education have advanced degrees in education, if at all.
Free Ali
#17
Dude also feel free to disregard my ramblings but you should do a FE PGCE not compulsory. Don't let people convince you to do a proper pgce and work in post compulsory. Your placement schools will lure you and you'll end up teaching snot nosed 11 year olds how to write the word science. Teach in a college/6th form I'm sure you will love it
#18
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
Dude also feel free to disregard my ramblings but you should do a FE PGCE not compulsory. Don't let people convince you to do a proper pgce and work in post compulsory. Your placement schools will lure you and you'll end up teaching snot nosed 11 year olds how to write the word science. Teach in a college/6th form I'm sure you will love it


I was thinking of that. There are a few FE colleges around my end.

Edit:

The plan is to do a standard PGCE obtain QTS and then go into a 6th form college. At least then I could actually teach A Level only instead of KS1,2 and 3 etc.

Edit 2:

Wife is a teacher and she said I can be trained in a school and obtain QTS while being paid... Many options. I am actually excited about this! I wasnt this excited starting my PhD and that was something I wanted to do!
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
Last edited by Guitardude19 at Apr 23, 2016,
#19
Compulsory education teaching is the worst. Non compulsory seems like a breeze compared, maybe the marking is more difficult but I don't really know.

Also you should be capable of teaching undergraduates with a masters, I know a few younger lecturers that are masters and lecture at undergrad level.
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Last edited by Nero Galon at Apr 23, 2016,
#20
Quote by Guitardude19



... Let me see it. I hope its more than 8 inches.


Uh I'm talking about pretty huge dedication-to-everything-I-do, dunno what you're on about.
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#21
Quote by Nero Galon
Compulsory education teaching is the worst. Non compulsory seems like a breeze compared, maybe the marking is more difficult but I don't really know.

Also you should be capable of teaching undergraduates with a masters, I know a few younger lecturers that are masters and lecture at undergrad level.


I don't know where TS lives, but it varies in the US. Most schools won't take anyone without a terminal degree (some fields don't have a doctorate) as a full time professor unless they have significant field experience. But you can still get part time work with maybe one or two classes per semester and minimal benefits.
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#22
i don't have any kind of experience when it comes to this but, are you certain this is the right choice? i think most older people will tell you it's the things that you didn't do that you regret when you're older. maybe you can try teaching once you have your phd? or perhaps all the hard work and determination will pay off and an even better opportunity will present itself. sorry if this sounds patronising and frankly what do i know but it seems like kind of a big choice to make and one that deserves careful deliberation

just trying to be helpful
#23
Quote by kalypto
but it seems like kind of a big choice to make and one that deserves careful deliberation

just trying to be helpful

He did say he's been thinking about quitting for 9 months. That's baby gestation time. I don't think he just walked in one day, said "fuck it" and then left.

TS, good luck on your new baby
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#24
Quote by Gatecrasher53
He did say he's been thinking about quitting for 9 months. That's baby gestation time. I don't think he just walked in one day, said "fuck it" and then left.

TS, good luck on your new baby

He could've actually fucked it and now has to work to support a child
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#25
Quote by kalypto
i don't have any kind of experience when it comes to this but, are you certain this is the right choice? i think most older people will tell you it's the things that you didn't do that you regret when you're older. maybe you can try teaching once you have your phd? or perhaps all the hard work and determination will pay off and an even better opportunity will present itself. sorry if this sounds patronising and frankly what do i know but it seems like kind of a big choice to make and one that deserves careful deliberation

just trying to be helpful


No dont feel like you're being patronising. You made a valid point and I agree that its what you dont do that you regret.

I may regret it on my death bed, but as things stand with the PhD, I have made a logical choice. I am going to fail, and by doing so, I leave with nothing. Why waste 7 months on an inevitable conclusion when I can leave now and move my life forward 7 months earlier. In fact, I regret not leaving earlier.

Quote by Gatecrasher53
He did say he's been thinking about quitting for 9 months. That's baby gestation time. I don't think he just walked in one day, said "fuck it" and then left.

TS, good luck on your new baby


Nothing of the sort. Though my wife and I could raise a child on a PhD salary in the short term.

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He could've actually fucked it and now has to work to support a child


Lately the only thing I have been fucking is my left hand. Aunt Flow is visiting and this cowboy doesnt like raw steak.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
Last edited by Guitardude19 at Apr 23, 2016,
#26
Quote by Guitardude19
Lately the only thing I have been fucking is my left hand. Aunt Flow is visiting and this cowboy doesnt like raw steak.


Damnit, he's already gone barmy.
o()o

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#27
Could you tell me what the world of academia is like? At least for chemistry anyways since I think that's what you did. What were the hours you had to spend were like, things of that nature. Good, bad, whatever.
#28
Good for you. There are loads of other jobs that you don't have to be in love with to be successful; a PhD is usually not one of them. And if you ever change your mind about research in the future, it's never too late to do a PhD either.
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#29
Good for you bud, I'm on year 6 of just getting my undergraduate degree
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#30
Quote by severed-metal
Could you tell me what the world of academia is like? At least for chemistry anyways since I think that's what you did. What were the hours you had to spend were like, things of that nature. Good, bad, whatever.


My research was in the field of medicinal chemistry so I was basically an organic chemist. I can give you an insight to what it was like for me and for people at my institution but these experiences vary from person to person and from institution to institution.

Academia can both be very liberating and also be very punishing. Research is results driven and if you are not getting results, your life will be hell. Publishing papers is the currency and if you cant get papers out (I have none) you are seen as unproductive and although they cant kick you out, they will make your life hell and push you out.

I was seen as unproductive DESPITE pulling 60+ hours a week lab work, writing reports and doing the things I was meant to because I was not and am not getting results that are required. I also have no papers and that is essentially career ending.

The good things:

Your ideas matter as long as you can demonstrate them, from literaute, that your idea has merit, that it will work and has a potential outcome.

You have complete control of your research project. Its in your hands. The only thing that limits you is the budget.

Presenting your work at conferences is amazing and you get to meet the top dogs in your field.

The bad things:

When you are not getting results your supervisors will blame you.

The hours are long and you will fail to achieve many of your research goals. Failure is a daily occurrence and you need to learn to live with it.

PhD is isolating. No one will be able to understand the mental and physical toll it takes on you. Only other PhDs will understand.

The pressure to get publishable work done will make or break you.

Over 50% of people fail or walk away from it and their reasons vary.

Research is unbelievably hard.

Advice:

Make sure you research potential supervisors. Do not take the first offer. Make sure you go to the lab and look around. If its not satisfactory, walk away.

Is your supervisor active in the field? No, then avoid, it will be more hassle than its worth.

Have you done research before? Even on a small scale? A research masters will set you up for what to expect during a PhD.

Make sure you do literature searches and understand reactions before doing them. If you dont, you will waste valuable lab time discovering something that someone else has already discovered.

Misc:

Academia is draining and they have you by the bollocks. Literally, your supervisors stand between you and the PhD and they will make or break you. If they dont think you are good enough to get one, they will push you out fast. The supervisor will put their career progression ahead of your PhD all the time. You dont matter, only the research does, and you need the same mind set.

I left on good terms with my supervisors. Only the research mattered; personal feelings did not come into it. Fine, there were times where I hated them but you need them more than they need you; your are replaceable. (This is why some supervisors treat students like shit because if you leave there are 1000 more people waiting to take your place).

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Good for you bud, I'm on year 6 of just getting my undergraduate degree




Nice one dude, all the best! I hope you have a stellar career!

Quote by guitarxo
Good for you. There are loads of other jobs that you don't have to be in love with to be successful; a PhD is usually not one of them. And if you ever change your mind about research in the future, it's never too late to do a PhD either.


True, but I think 1 year MSc Drug Discovery with a 6 month research project and then a full 3.5 years PhD is enough for me. I don't think I'll miss it. Its been hell. (There have been good times, but those were rare).
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
Last edited by Guitardude19 at Apr 23, 2016,
#31
Even as a current undergrad, I am finding the researching to be yes rewarding because at times you'll have your mind blown by some great enlightening theories in a field that interests you, but the act of researching is simply a chore that you'd prefer not to do.

If you're a workaholic, or have the attitude that sitting down and reading books/literature looking for specific segments that could take an unknown amount of time to find if at all is fun then you're gonna have a blast.

If you're like me where that doesn't sound appealing because you can think of plenty of other stimulating activities to do and would rather do those then yeah, you're gonna loathe it.

It's a sacrificial compromise of your time. That's how currency is gained though I suppose. I admit I am a lazy prick who would rather not lift a finger if I didn't want to.
Dance in the moonlight my old friend twilight


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#33
Quote by Nero Galon
Even as a current undergrad, I am finding the researching to be yes rewarding because at times you'll have your mind blown by some great enlightening theories in a field that interests you, but the act of researching is simply a chore that you'd prefer not to do.

If you're a workaholic, or have the attitude that sitting down and reading books/literature looking for specific segments that could take an unknown amount of time to find if at all is fun then you're gonna have a blast.

If you're like me where that doesn't sound appealing because you can think of plenty of other stimulating activities to do and would rather do those then yeah, you're gonna loathe it.

It's a sacrificial compromise of your time. That's how currency is gained though I suppose. I admit I am a lazy prick who would rather not lift a finger if I didn't want to.


literally anything worth putting time into has a whole lot of shit attached to interesting stuff

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#34
It sounds like you were on the wrong path doing a research you hated and you were miserable and that's no way to get a PhD. You shouldn't be totally miserable without any joy whatsoever.

Now, you're on the right path, a path without misery that will lead to more happiness and thus more success than you'd ever get by forcing yourself to do something you hated.
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#36
Quote by beadhangingOne
What was your PhD in?


Medicinal chemistry.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#37
Quote by Guitardude19
Medicinal chemistry.



As a fellow chem PhDer (I do materials), the one thing I would have told you before you started your PhD, is to never, EVER, do anything involving organic chemistry. Employment prospects are low because pharma is outsourcing, academic positions are non-existent outside of post-docs. Unless you are the "chosen one", it is not worth the trouble. Every horror story about graduate-level chemistry I have ever heard is from an organic lab. Every suicide you will ever read about is from an organic lab (4 from just one Harvard lab).

Best of luck to you. I hope teaching is your passion, because it will be twice as bad as your PhD was if you don't enjoy it.
#38
Quote by beadhangingOne
As a fellow chem PhDer (I do materials), the one thing I would have told you before you started your PhD, is to never, EVER, do anything involving organic chemistry. Employment prospects are low because pharma is outsourcing, academic positions are non-existent outside of post-docs. Unless you are the "chosen one", it is not worth the trouble. Every horror story about graduate-level chemistry I have ever heard is from an organic lab. Every suicide you will ever read about is from an organic lab (4 from just one Harvard lab).

Best of luck to you. I hope teaching is your passion, because it will be twice as bad as your PhD was if you don't enjoy it.


I went into organic/med chem knowing all that. I still went into organic chem because I love organic chemistry. Now I hate it.

The four suicides were under EJ Corey. Dude might be the greates chemist of our time but as a person, I have not heard nice things about him.

I have taught and done private tutoring. I enjoyed it more than the research in the end.
Sat in a lab, curing diseases. They actually LET me play with chemicals!
#39
a PhD can make you overqualified

now we wouldn't want this, now...
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#40
Good on you for getting out if it was making you miserable. I was in the same situation a few years back, though I was only about 9 months into a PhD rather than 3 years (mine was in microelectronics). I didn't have the level commitment to it that it would have needed and I was growing to loathe the academic environment. My supervisor was the first to bring it up and I realised that he was right. After a good few weeks thinking about it, I walked away.

No regrets. I got a job in industry that I enjoy much more. If you've thought about it that long and hard, and still wanted to walk away then I think it must have been the right call. I occasionally think that if I'd stuck at it I could have got the PhD by now - but chances are I'd have failed it anyway at the end of several years of utter misery.

Talking of teaching, I found that the most enjoyable part of the whole experience was acting as a lab demonstrator. If I'd stayed on, I'd been earmarked to be the lead demonstrator for the next year. My supervisor wasn't so keen, because he didn't want it taking up too much of my time, but I was thrilled because it was the only part of it all that I was actually enjoying. I suppose I should have realised sooner that it was a sign that things weren't right.
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