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RA vs TA funding

  1. Jul 3, 2009 #1
    I plan on pursuing my PhD in aerospace or mechanical engineering and I am wondering, what are the advantages/disadvantages of getting graduate funding as an RA or TA? I feel like being an RA would require a lot more work but at the same time would be useful because you would gain even more experience and potentially get more publications.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2009 #2


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    RA allows you to work on what hopefully should be your thesis and be paid for it.
  4. Jul 3, 2009 #3
    Yeah, what J93 said. Unless you especially enjoy TAing, an RA is always better. Instead of getting paid to do stuff that gets in the way of your research, you're getting paid to do stuff that will actually get you graduated. People usually become TAs because their advisors don't have the funds to pay them (at least that's how it works in physics). If your advisor gives you the option of working as an RA, you should always take it. And this is coming from someone who actually likes teaching.

    In my department, TAs tend to be paid slightly more than RAs. But hey, the fact that I'm actually expediting my own graduatio makes up for that.
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