Ahh, yes. Italy is quite different! I did my postdoc in Trieste.Thank you for the answer. So I will try to learn more on computers and programming.
On the other side, you opend an interesting topic, at least for students as me. For now I live in Italy, and I am in my last year of physics studies in a very good university(here we have 3 bachelor +2 master studies). So I am prospecting to finish at 24(we usually start university at 19 here in Italy).
Yeah, advanced degree programs are much shorter in Europe in general. Often Ph.D.'s in the US take 5-7 years to complete.I still don't know if I'll get in academia or another type of carreer. You say that you finished PHD in 4.5 years, being among the first ones. Here in Europe usually PHD is 3 or 4 years. And I think you start in the first/second year research. And then my prospects in Europe are to finish at 27-28, in US at 29-30 because I would have to wait a year for US schools(I know thar there is a month of time but I would be impossible).
Oh, definitely not a waste of time. The deeper understanding I got of the more basic physics was extremely useful.So I want to ask you some questions:
-I am 'thrilled' to retake some courses I took here in university. I know that in Italy we have a much stronger academic program than the majority of the other countries(including US). And in my studies I studied a lot of times on notes from graduate courses. So, I see that those first two years are a waste of time.... Or do you think that for an academic career it's better to stregthen background subjects?
1. Permanent academic jobs are exceedingly hard to come by. This is why those going to the best schools have such an advantage. If you're good at what you do, it's pretty easy to bounce from temporary position to temporary position, but it's really hard to find a permanent one.-I don't know very well US system and top schools. When I searched I only searched for the professors that make research interesting to me. I only know that maybe I will not be accepted in a top school(I was one of the top students nationally when I started but then I wasn't a model student, the type of one that studies everyday, although now I changed. maybe I can get in a top 20-30). Do you think that it's possible to make a good academic career also out of these schools? Because I always think that for science in general it doesn't matter in which school you studied. You ideas are the one that matters. For me entering a top school is only because maybe they pay more than others..
It definitely was for me, but you'd have to ask the school (my after-tax income, from about 2003-2008, was about $2000/mo, which was sufficient for a single person). There may be additional difficulties for people coming from outside the country, though. The US has dramatically reduced its investment in higher education over the past decade, while administrative costs have soared.-And related to this, the paying is US schools... Is this sufficient to live, save some money? (supposing to spend the average spending of the people living in the city you live)
Honestly, I think it's pretty great. The hours are flexible, and you should be able to find people to work with whom you get along well with. Some students tend to be workaholics, putting in 60+ hour work weeks, but that's definitely not required (at least not for long periods of time: there may be crunch periods, depending upon the work). It can be difficult if you don't find people you work well with, which is why talking to people at the university is so important.-The last but not the least... What to do you mean by huge amount of self motivation?? How is difficult the working PHD student life?