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Questions about grad school.

  1. Aug 8, 2006 #1
    Hey guys, I have a few questions about graduate school:

    1) I'm trying to decide if I should work full time and be a part-time student or if I should just be a full-time student with an internship at certain times. I am lucky in the fact that I am not strapped for cash. However, I would like to stop working so I can stop living off my parents.

    2) If I decide to take a third route and just completely put off graduate school and join the work force, how do recommendation letters, etc work? If I'm working for 10 years and then decide to go to graduate school, will I be required to have kept in touch with my professors for all of those years?

    3) How realistic is working full-time and pursuing a PhD? I'd definitely like to work towards one, but after I get my master's degree I would really like to start working.

    Just some info to supplement the above: I'm an electrical engineer who will be earning a BSEE degree this year. My graduate degrees will be in electrical engineering as well. Obviously a PhD is not as important for EE's as it is for physicists, but I'd like to make it my goal to pursue one. My field of study would be either VLSI design (Low power), Communication systems, or Control systems - perhaps with some DSP courses. These are the undergraduate classes I enjoyed the most.

    Thanks for the information.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2006 #2
    i know for Mathematics, they will waive my tuition if i become a TA and give me a salary on top of that. perhaps they also do this for engineering Ph.Ds???

    i think for the work force, you get letters of reference, which i think is just like a professional letter of reccomendation, except it's not for academics.
  4. Aug 8, 2006 #3
    To my understanding, obatining a Ph.D. mainly involves creating knowledge, not learning.
    Although one might think, or even be capable of working towards a Ph.D. and working a full time job at the same time, a Ph.D. advisor will not let his/her students to do such a thing. I've heard of advisors who don't let their students date (this is a very extreme case).
    I would advise you to decide for yourself whether your passion lies in creating knowledge or applying the already known knowledge. Those are two very different processes, and it doesn't make much sense to get training in both at the same time, although you would be able to do both at an advanced stage of your career (if your job involves research), regardless of which path you take.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
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