My question is about PhD admission.

Is it possible to get admission to a PhD program in organization culture in management without any research experience? I have 30 years of corporate experience.

  • Which country/countries are you interested in? Do you have a bachelor or master's degree? – astronat Jun 1 at 20:13
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    Yes, particularly if you pay $$$. – FourierFlux Jun 1 at 20:14
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    depends upon your qualifications and the program's requirements. Hence the answer is specific to you – Richard Erickson Jun 1 at 20:21
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    Just to comment... the purported goal seems unlikely to serve any substantive purpose. Could you clarify what your further (ultimate?) goal is? – paul garrett Jun 2 at 0:32

The short answer is "yes". The long answer is that departments look for (i) candidates for which the department's resources for advising students are likely well spent, (ii) candidates likely to graduate, (iii) candidates likely to be productive contributors to the research mission of a department, (iv) candidates who after graduation are likely to further the reputation of the department in some way or other. For public universities, there is also (v) the requirement to support the public good in return for the tax money provided by the state, generally by providing an education to those who will then go out and join the work force.

As a consequence, there are arguments for and against admitting those who join after long stints in industry. On the plus side, these are people who know why they want to go back to a university to get another degree, and they're often motivated to get through the program quick and successfully -- they aren't there because they haven't figured out what to do with their lives and for whom going to grad school was the path of least resistance.

On the downside, people who have been in industry for 30 years are in their 50s, and it's not quite so clear as for a 20-year old (i) what the benefit to society is in providing them with another 5 years of education, given that they're likely going to retire soon, and (ii) they may have a lot of industry experience, but may not be up to date on the prerequisites for the graduate program.

So yes, programs often do accept people into a graduate program who have been in industry for a long time, but the considerations are complex and varied. Make your case in your personal statement for why the department should accept you!

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