1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Programs PhD woes

  1. Aug 2, 2005 #1
    Hi guys.

    I'm coming to the end of my BSc degree in Physics as I start my final year, so its time to think about the future. After working at RAL for a year a major scientific lab in the UK (though admittedly not doing science) I'm thinking of taking my degree further.

    However how can I be sure a PhD is right for me. I had planned to travel for a year after I finished however if I am to spend three years further study how is this possible?

    So basically what i'm asking is, Is a PhD truly vital to persuing a career in science or can I get by with an MSc. Is it just for research or if I want persue instrumentation or applied physics will I still need a PhD? With so many research areas out there how I can pick one to dedicate my life to? My current interests are space and medical physics instrumentation but how can I tell if this is right for me?

    Sorry to unload like that, but I've decided its time to think ahead and its all a bit overwhelming :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2005 #2
    No one to help? Okay I'll go back to panicing?

    *panics*
     
  4. Aug 4, 2005 #3

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A PhD is not necessary for an interesting or well-paying career in science or technology, but in general, it will open up more paths than just an MSc, particularly in research.

    Pick a research area that is of personal interest.

    Only you can determine what is right (meaningful) to yourself. No one esle can read your mind.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2005 #4

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    and it would also depend on the country.
     
  6. Aug 4, 2005 #5

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Three years! You plan on going from B.S. to Ph.D. in only three years? :bugeye:
     
  7. Aug 4, 2005 #6
    Uh in the UK most PhD's are expected to take between 3-4 years to complete.

    Thanks for the reply astronuc. I just wonder because from what else I have seen in the Uk there does not seem to be many paths for physicists without PhDs (but loads for chemists and biologists which is just unfair *frumps*)

    The4 great trouble with picking a reseach area is my interests never seem to stay in one place. And even in most areas there are far more choices. Its all confusing
     
  8. Aug 4, 2005 #7

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    It's always amusing to see how things are miscommunicated especially when there's cross-educational system.

    In the UK (and maybe even most of Europe and Asia), you systematically go for your Ph.D first, and M.Sc, and Ph.D. So the "3-4 years" to complete a Ph.D is counted from the end of M.Sc. This is, of course, unlike the schools in the US where you apply for a Ph.D program right out of your undergraduate B.Sc degree. So the time period being counted starts from the end of the B.Sc degree.

    Of course, this is just a general description of the system. There are a gazillion variation to this, such as an "undergraduate masters" degree, a "diploma" degree, etc... The words may be the same, but the meaning can differ greatly here.

    Zz.
     
  9. Aug 4, 2005 #8

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    there is some surprise cos in the US thy're supposed to take 5-7 years, but they require qaul exams and other hoops to be jumped through. IT would be no surprise in mathematics, say, for a starting PhD student to onkw hardly any group theory, or what a diferential manifold is.

    if you want to work in industry (in the UK) a phd is not required, though it may be advantageous in some areas and even a prerequisite. there are even some that require a post doc experience
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: PhD woes
  1. Research Woes (Replies: 18)

  2. Calc 1 woes (Replies: 10)

  3. Community College Woes (Replies: 7)

  4. Summertime woes (Replies: 0)

  5. Geometry Woes (Replies: 3)

Loading...