My friend is very fond of studies. Her father couldn't fund her further studies after her bachelors, so she joined jobs. She left her job at the age of 40 and completed her master's degree in computer science. After that she got a job again. Now she is saying that she is not learning much in her job and it is monotonous, she wants to leave her job again and pursue Ph. D. in data science.

I am clueless if I should discourage her or encourage. She will be 50 by the time she completes her PhD. Are there many teaching job opportunities at that age, given that she has been in industry throughout and not into teaching? She says she wants to keep engaged in studies related activities throughout life and doesn't want to retire till death.

Can you please suggest what should be the best thing for her to do?

  • 2
    Does she intend to remain in India?
    – Buffy
    Nov 24, 2022 at 15:51
  • 1
    yes, she is not much interested in moving out of her country. Nov 24, 2022 at 15:53
  • 2
    You don't have to encourage or discourage her if you don't know anything about the answer. Nov 24, 2022 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


I know nothing of job opportunities in India for anyone, much less older doctoral graduates, so this answer will be a bit different.

I think people should follow their dreams as much as possible. If someone is a bit older, but unsatisfied with their current position they are wise to consider opportunities and to try to attain their main goals to the maximum extent possible.

Not every person interested in a doctorate is interested in it as a "job" certification. In math, especially, and to somewhat the same extent in CS (and probably other fields), the desire to "know" and to "think" are the main driving force. Being bored in life is no fun.

Your friend just needs to be realistic about where she will be on completion and the possibility that she may not have an opening in academia. I can't guess at that, but it might be a less important consideration for her than extending/expanding her mind.

I would encourage her to follow her dream, but to be realistic about the economic and career aspects. She would probably be no worse off in the non-academic job market than now.

She can probably get some solid advice by talking to some local academics, especially folks like department heads who are in a position to know the likelihood of hiring an older new faculty member.

However, as you describe her, I'd guess she would make an excellent faculty member and teacher. Circumstances permitting it might be the best path. You only have one life to live. Make the most of it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .