I'm finding myself in a precarious career position. I'm working on a PhD in New Zealand in a very particular and odd foundations of mathematics theory. This theory is not widely regarded as being of much use and I was hoping to discover that it could actually be very useful. However, after a year that prospect is becoming less and less likely as I continually poke holes in multiple attempts to make it work. My career plans after graduation was never to do anything with the PhD, I was in it for the research and I was leaning quite heavily into doing programming as a career. I don't think that this research itself will help me in any programming career other than perhaps having a fluidity with alternative logical concepts. (For those familiar, think constructive mathematics but even stranger and not useful in computer science.) For background, I've been programming since I was about 12 and have some resume bullet points in it, including 2 summers of internships in image processing during my college years and helped start a game design course in C++ at my high school (and effectively helped teach it). Picking up new programming languages is now easy for me. I also don't have a Masters in math, only a Bachelor from the US. I managed to get a scholarship without it. Right now I'm weighing my options and trying to figure out what would most likely offer the best long-term gains. Here is my current plan: Stay with the PhD for another 6 months to make sure that I don't make this decision on a fluke. Really see if nothing will come out of the research. Then here are my options: Option 1: Try to get into a coding bootcamp or find beginning programming jobs through contacts who are well into the programming field. Option 2: Finish my PhD and then do option 1. This basically puts me back about 1.5 years. Thus, it essentially amounts to 1-1.5 years extra experience. Option 2 looks unattractive to me for many reasons. The PhD thesis would be composed of why all the stuff I've been working on for the first year doesn't go anywhere. I don't know how psychologically healthy that'll be at the end of the 1.5 years of more research and how much willpower I'll actually have left over to see myself pushed again. This research has been particularly stressful as single results can essentially make the rest of it uninteresting. What is the essential economic benefit of having a PhD in (really really) Pure Mathematics vs an extra year of experience? Does it harm me in applying for jobs to say that I didn't complete a PhD for the reasons I've detailed (that the research flopped)? Thank you very much for any assistance you can provide.