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Programs Is the PhD worth getting

  1. Sep 6, 2008 #1
    i will finish my undergraduate physics in two semesters. i am considering getting my PhD with research on entanglement or quantum teleportation. i want to research teleportation to make it possible. i am wondering will the PhD be worth getting given the nature of my research. i already have a few degrees so i am getting tired of school, so i really want to make sure that a PhD is worth my time. i feel because my research is out there, although i believe foundations of the research are in entanglement, that getting a PhD will not get me any closer to my goal than doing the research on my own. i know that no one will fund my research, so i will have to do it on my own, which i am ok with. my thought is that because everything at this point is theoretical and i have access to other's research that a PhD maybe not be the most efficient use of my time. i do not know enough about the PhD program process to make a decision at this point, just looking for guidance. please do not waste my time or your time by commenting that my research is a waste of time because it is not possible. thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2008 #2


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    Why not just doing a PhD in the field you want to do research in? Then you get the degree while doing the research you want to do...
  4. Sep 7, 2008 #3
    It really depends on your research. If you have lot's of free time to spare and to study for then do it, if not then stay where you are. One thing in mind, some Employers may get intimidated by your level of Education and may not hire you because basically you are considered too expensive to keep. Why hire a PhD graduate demanding $80-100K++ a year when you can grab a fresh teenage graduate that can do the same amount of work if properly trained for less and pay him chump change $40-50k. See what I mind, I'm not saying don't do it, you just need to be aware of the potential circumstances that are out there.
  5. Sep 7, 2008 #4


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    So, you're thinking of pursuing a Ph.D. so you can do research on something you know is "out there" and "unfundable?" What's your back-up plan?

    Do more grounded, more fundable, more likely to lead to a successful research career topics appeal to you as well? What are your plans for a paying job when you're done with your education, with or without the Ph.D.?

    You say you already have a few degrees. What went wrong that you're back in school for another undergraduate degree? Are you certain you've made the right choice this time, and why?

    Think about the answers to all these questions. You don't need to give us the answers, but you do need to figure out the answers for yourself. Then, when you consider the entirety of those answers, only you can decide for yourself if a Ph.D. is worth pursuing.
  6. Sep 7, 2008 #5
    thank you for your responses. allow me to clarify what i am asking. i will do the research in teleportation regardless if i get the PhD or not. this research is all i care about, otherwise, physics does not interest me, only this purpose. i will fund my own research, i will not work for someone else doing the research in teleportation. my previous degrees are what will earn me the money. physics and teleportation research is something that i am personally interested in and want to pursue.

    my question is because research i would do under the professor in the PhD program would possibly be to far removed from my own research, i want to know if you think that i may be better off doing the research without getting the PhD. i am very unfamiliar with the PhD program. can i go off on my own and do research independently of my advisor and only participate on those things i believe are relevant to my research. does the PhD open doors to other things? also i believe that while pursuing the PhD would give the opportunity to get a solid theory on teleportation however going directly to work, it would take longer, but the PhD may be a waste of time. just trying to get encite
  7. Sep 7, 2008 #6


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    What you will pick up from a PhD program are skills that will help you with any research that you are willing to do. For example, you will likely:
    - gain a deeper understanding of physics in general,
    - learn what journals to pay attention to for current developments in your field,
    - how to manage and interpret data,
    - how to effectively write up and present results,
    - how to teach,
    - how to organize large scale research projects,
    - collaboration skills
    - technical skills in software/hardware common to your field
    - grant writing skills
    - gain contacts with others working in your field

    A lot of this is stuff that a person could, in theory learn on his or her own. But in a PhD program you will have a mentor and supervisory committee to guide your learning, access to university resources, as well as a (variable) degree of financial support which will allow you to study full time. Also, you will have a recognizable credential - even if it is nothing more than a piece of paper.

    As to self-direction, you are free (to a certain extent) to determine your own project. If you get a full scholarship, your only criteria is that you find a supervisor willing and able to mentor you. If not, you are generally restricted to where the funding is. Also, your supervisory committee will generally want you to take on a project that can be reasonably completed within four years.

    If any of this helps you, please in lieu of thanks, try to use proper capitalization in future posts - it makes them much easier to read.
  8. Sep 8, 2008 #7
    1. You are getting tired of school.
    2. You are not interested in physics in general.
    3. You do not want to work with a professor on his research.

    I have to ask... why on earth would you *want* to get a Ph.D.? It sounds to me as if you'd be totally wasting your time.
  9. Sep 8, 2008 #8


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    Why are you planning on working from your basement? What's wrong with the tried and true academic method?

    1. Get PhD position with a prof who does research on quantum teleportation (granted, there aren't many, but I'm sure there are some)

    2. After PhD position, try to get a position at a university to do research on quantum teleportation (again, very very few positions, but definitely non-zero, provided you show that you have done good research and are actually getting somewhere)

    This way, you get to work on quantum teleportation AND get funded for it. Scientists have been doing this for centuries, and it's been working fairly well.
  10. Sep 8, 2008 #9

    Dr Transport

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    Only go after your PhD if you really want it, not because someone expects you to get it.
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