Backstory (feel free to skip): Last year, I applied to a bunch of PhD programs in applied math. I got accepted into a couple, but Northwestern offered me an interesting option. They rejected me from the PhD program, but they said that they would accept me into a masters program (which I'd have to pay for), but depending on my performance, they might upgrade me at the end of the year to a PhD position. Since their MS and PhD programs are the same in the first year, as long as I passed the preliminary exams, I'd be considered a second year PhD student the following year. To get the upgrade, they said I'd have to beat a lot of PhD students, since the faculty were biased towards them. I managed to succeed - they cut 1/2 the PhD students, but I managed to make the cut. Now I'm not sure if I want to. Everyone in the program says that the first year is the hardest. We have four classes per quarter plus those prelim exams. This year has been extremely difficult, though this quarter hasn't been quite as bad. Starting in the second year, we take fewer classes, though we have to TA (which is actually something I'm excited about). I guess I'm nervous about research - is the time commitment more than what I'm doing now? Is there time I can take off? Am I expected to be in during school breaks? What are your experiences with this? At the end of this year, I will have an MS degree. I'm not sure if going on to a PhD is even something I should do. I don't plan on going into academia (at least not immediately - at some point later on, I may want to teach, though it may even be at the high school level, but that'd be after a career). I'd want to do something in industry - consulting, something in finance, etc. I don't have prior work experience and haven't really networked, so I was thinking that getting a PhD would help in those areas. Plus it's not as though there are a ton of jobs out there. I think part of the problem too is that I'm just feeling so burnt out. So I guess my questions are: In my position, would it be worth it to get a PhD? Would it improve my future salary/job opportunities? How does the time commitment compare to what I've already experienced taking a bunch of graduate courses? Thank you so much!