I would really appreciate to hear some other people's thoughts on my situation. I am going into my third year of my PhD at a UK uni (paid studentship) and am thinking of quitting (80% sure) and finishing with MPhil. I have an undergrad, masters degree in Psychology (1st class) and after uni started as a research assistant in a nonpsych group. After umming and ah-ing for years I eventually took on a PhD and now i've just finished my second year.
I have been thinking of quitting literally from day 1 for the following reasons:
1- my PhD doesn't really match my background so I have always felt I am pursing the 'wrong' topic or that it doesn't suit me.
2- The original PhD outline was cellular research but was changed to suit me and my background, which has been good in a way as I had more freedom to do what I want but also means the research aims/objectives have been pretty wool-y from the start.
3- my supervisors have said that I can focus on the behavior change aspect of the project so it better suits my psychology background but none of my advisors are experts in behaviour change.
4- I don't want to pursue a career in academia or research due to the fixed term nature of the contracts. I appreciate permanent research jobs are possible in some fields (biochem, engineering, pharmaceuticals, statistics etc) but after constant job searches it seems limited with my background and not worth the anxiety that lifestyle causes me to pursue the small % of jobs that are available.
5- My reasons to quit are not supervisory- they are very supportive and almost friends due to being colleagues for so long- which makes difficult
6- I have extensively researched psychological wellbeing jobs that I think would suit me skills and interest's wise and and would have permanent career progression.
7- I am nearly in third year but because of Covid am a year behind so still need to analyse write up my second study.
8- The toll on my mental health and general health ( I have a chronic health condition) I was having panic attacks over this- I have had counselling for this.
- Despite this I am still doubting if this is the right choice to leave early with an Mphil or if I should just stick it out for the whole PhD (1-2 years)?
- Is it true that a PhD can help with higher up NHS jobs- e.g. either in research or patient care? ( I have been told this but am dubious as I cant see this anywhere on many job specs)
- Is it better to just finish a PhD to get the qualification for the chance I might need it in the future even if the subject isn't the field I want to go into?
Thank you so much for reading this and for your help!