Do people work while doing PhD?

Studying for a doctorate is a big undertaking that requires a lot of research. Full-time doctoral studies can take 3-4 years, while part-time studies can take 6-7 years.

Here are some things you might want to consider before starting your PhD.

Let your thesis director advise you about the possibilities of a double degree

If you are accepted into a doctoral program, you will have an academic director. These people have experience in your field of study and are there to support you on your doctoral journey. That being said, you have to take the initiative to make sure the relationship benefits you. The University of South Australia recommends that students hold regular meetings with their supervisors, prepare for supervision meetings, take notes during meetings, submit regular progress reports and discuss your working relationship with them.

Inform the supervisor that you intend to work full-time alongside your studies. This will help them understand your situation and they may have tips on how to study well alongside work. Maybe you know the best online courses for an easier schedule or, if you’re an international student, what the university rules are about the number of hours per week international students are allowed to have work.

what does desperation look like

My first job interview was a nightmare. I put on an ill-fitting $75 suit with one of those heavy ties from the 90s and shoes that were a different shade of brown than my belt. I showed up and waited in the company lobby, going through a list of interview questions I pulled from the internet. I recited pre-recorded answers in my head and thought, “Okay, I’m ready for this test. I will get all the right answers. The receptionist called my name and led me back to a large office where three people were sitting. They started asking me basic questions and I answered like a robot. Then I waited for them to ask more questions. There was a lot of awkward silence, but I didn’t know why. I thought they had prepared more questions. Why were you waiting to talk to me? I somehow passed the interview and a week later I got a call with a really bad offer. The salary was almost double what I expected. But I took it anyway.

Because I was desperate.

Starting a new career can be a confusing process, especially when industries are changing. The path is particularly challenging for PhD graduates looking to transition into business. Because the worlds of science and business are very different. It is also the case that most universities offer little or no professional training to doctoral students. As a result, modern graduate students who are retiring from academia are thrown into the business world without thinking about how to find it. You’ll get some networking tips and be encouraged to keep sending resumes. But nothing happened. In fact, less than 40% of doctoral students will find a job in a company at the end of their studies or shortly after. And less than 20% of life science graduates will have a corporate job after graduation. The truth is that most graduate students will never get a job in business, even if they do everything right. The problem is that they also do the wrong things. The key to starting a successful career in business is learning what not to do. Here are 5 things to avoid:


Another way to increase your income is to work as a tutor. In many cases, students, parents and individuals need support to learn and prepare for exams. This is usually a good opportunity for you, as a researcher on a particular topic, to leverage your niche and find clients that you are willing to pay to teach them. Some of the platforms that can help you with this are:

  • GoStudent – link
  • UniversityTutor – link
  • Games – link
  • link

Saturday/evening work

Shift work is relatively easy to learn if you are willing to sacrifice a day or a few evenings for shopping, call centers and pubs/restaurants. This type of work is unlikely to pay much more than minimum wage; However, some students consider that task-based work relieves them from the rigors of their doctoral work and also gives them the opportunity to socialize. Other odd jobs that might be suitable for a PhD include bookstore, market research and journalism.

Many graduate students study part-time, especially those who are self-financed to have a stable income during their studies. If you are already working full-time, you can request flexible working hours to allow you to study part-time. It is important to find the right balance so that you have enough time for work and promotion and time to rest.

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