After I get my masters in about 1.5 years, I was considering going for a phd after. It’s approximately 90 credit hours, and dissertation at the end. I’m just curious from anyone here if you have experienced working full time 7:30am-4:30pm m-f while still managing to take phd classes?
I worked full time in the evening while I got my doctorate (Mathematics). It was seriously brutal and took almost 7 years. On the plus side, by the time it was all over I had no new debt and had mostly paid off my undergrad loans. That was worth it. Seriously worth it.
I don’t know if it’s better to maybe spend 4 years working full time and taking 1 class every semester even summer time, then the last 2 years taking off from work just to focus solely on the phd. I don’t know exactly how hard the classes are in comparison to masters classes, so just asking if anyone has done it, and if so how. Thanks.[/quote]
Depends on the degree. You state elsewhere that your field is elementary education, so it probably isn’t that taxing. :o) Seriously though, you should take a long, hard look at what benefits you will get from having such a degree. In the US, it is unlikely you will be able to do anything but work at a university and if there is a glut in your field you might well be screwed. A fair number of my buddies who went through school with me ended up in exactly that some boat – overqualified for the private sector and only able to get semester or yearly employment teaching shit courses. A lot of them eventually dropped out of the field all together. Nothing like getting a Ph. D. in some abstruse branch of Math. then after 4 years of 9 month appointments (so you coincidentally never quite have full health care) you say “fuck it” and start as an entry level database programmer. This happened to one of my best buddies and I was sure of all of them he’d get a tenure track position, but nope, his speciality in Algebra had zero openings for years and, well, he’d accumulated a wife and kids, so…
Guess I’m saying, being on the other side of it, that a doctorate is overly hyped and not especially useful. Now, if your advisor has hinted at some positions and a career field that is open – say you have some unique spin on something and can parlay that into a real career, consider it. If this is mostly an emotional issue (a lot of people I ran into during graduate school really just wanted to be able to tell people they were working on a doctorate) then it might be a bad career move and huge waste of time.
FWIW I give this advice to aspiring doctoral candidates all the time… I think the US educational system does a disservice to its charges in this way. Universities stay in business by having students and grad students are very useful assistants. I also think most universities ought to can their football teams and just hire them rather than pretend they are part of an academic tradition, but now I’m turning into a curmudgeon.