I'm an international student. I have been in a PhD program in the US for 1 year and this is my second. My advisor informed me earlier this year that he is moving to another lower-ranked school. How to cope when PhD advisor quits midway deals with this issue. This is not what this question is about.
I have not been doing a lot of research and have been overwhelmed with coursework. By the time I finish my coursework, I'll be in my third year already. I also find that my advisor's work (after having spent some time with his group) does not interest me and is very different from what I thought I would be doing. I do research in a very specialized area. My advisor does work in a different area but is interested in how what I'm doing can be applied to what he's doing. However, we disagree on methodology.
I'm also not interested in research/teaching as a career and originally decided to do a PhD to gain more knowledge/training in this very specialized area that is not available in industry. My original plan was to finish my PhD and get a job. However, my advisor's move is making me reconsider this plan. Even though my advisor is moving, he will still advise me remotely until I satisfy my coursework requirements (and then I could move as a visiting student at this point).
By the end of the second year, I can quit my PhD and get a MSc but I see the following issues:
- How should I handle this on my resume? Do I say that I'm doing a PhD or that I'm doing a MSc?
- If I say I'm doing a PhD, how do I explain not getting it?
- If I say I'm doing a MSc, does that violate an F1 student visa?
- How should I handle my relationship with my advisor? At what point should I announce my plan to quit?
- Will quitting reduce my chances of getting a job? If I say I'm doing a MSc, then chances are my employer will not seek a recommendation from my advisor but if I say I'm doing a PhD and decided to quit, then chances are my employer will do that and will seek an explanation.
- Is it a good idea to get an internship this summer before quitting for a full-time position?
Oct 9 If you have an answer to only one or a few of these issues and not the others, please consider posting it.