need advice - quitting PhD and want to start working

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S.A.D.'s picture
need advice - quitting PhD and want to start working


I would like advice regarding this issue. I am considering quitting my PhD and would like to get a job in industry. I already have a Masters degree (2006) and will be applying for positions that require that qualification and not higher (like the PhD), for example research scientist, research associate, etc.

So when I apply for these positions, should I mention in my resume/ CV that currently I am in the PhD program? Or should I just stop with stating my last degree was the MS in 2006?

I am concerned that if I mention about my being in the PhD program, the industry HR might wonder why I'm applying for positions that need Masters degree students, and then they might look at me as a PhD student itself, think that I overqualify for the job and then not even interview me??????
Should I be letting them know in advance that I intend to quit the PhD or is that something I can clarify during the interview?

Thank you

Ivan Delgado
Ivan Delgado's picture
Hi S.A.D.,

Hi S.A.D.,
It is not unusual to feel like quitting your PhD. I considered it myself on more than one occasion. If you are just starting maybe it is a good idea, but if you are close to finishing maybe it would be better to stick it out and finish. 
As for how to present yourself, I do not think it is a good idea to bring the point that you are quitting your PhD. I would look at it as you pursuing graduate school and finding out that it was not for you (if indeed that is what you decide in the end). There is the issue of someone having a PhD not being considered for positions because of over-qualification, but that is something you will come across even with a Masters (for some positions). Look around at what is out there, test the waters so to speak, and based on the feedback you receive change your approach to better fit what employers are looking for.
Whatever you decide, give yourself as many options as you can and keep on trying. 
Good luck