Hot answers tagged

60 votes

Concerns about a very old PhD advisor?

My PhD advisor was already retired when I started my PhD. He is in his 80s now. One of my collaborators is due to retire soon; the other is in his 90s. All I can say is that everyone of them has had a ...
user avatar
  • 8,381
57 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

My father got his Ph.D. (from a highly respected department at a major university) in his late fifties. I brought my regalia to his graduation. There were also two grad students in their fifties in ...
user avatar
53 votes

To enroll in to a PhD Program at the age of 65

The realistic answer is: you can enroll in a PhD program at age 65. However, you are highly unlikely to get a tenure-track professorship after finishing a PhD program at that age. The big reason for ...
user avatar
  • 171k
52 votes

Why are most cranks old men?

In order to assess this claim, it is important to first bear in mind that classification as a “crank” theory actually requires a reasonably high level of technical development. For example, in the ...
user avatar
  • 43.8k
47 votes

Can I pursue a bachelor degree at 42? What should I consider when deciding whether to do so?

Firstly, to answer the actual question at the top: yes, absolutely. There is no age limit on doing a degree. It is not at all unusual for people significantly older than you to complete degrees. My ...
user avatar
  • 1,112
45 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

Here are some statistics on Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities in 2009: from Doctorate Recipients from U.S. Universities: 2009: Data presented in Doctorate Recipients from U.S. ...
user avatar
36 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

A guy at my old department had just started his PhD when I left. He retired from his old job, travelled from the USA to New Zealand with his wife, and started his PhD. He is about your age. Granted, ...
user avatar
  • 14.9k
35 votes
Accepted

Concerns about a very old PhD advisor?

One minor counterpoint to @adipro's answer: rather than age of the professor, consider where they stand in their professional career. Age aside, you want to make sure that they're still highly active ...
user avatar
  • 47.8k
34 votes

How were people able to graduate with a PhD at a such young age in the past?

There are several issues: Your examples are somewhat biased, since you've selected researchers who were not only brilliant but also prodigies. By contrast, Riemann finished his Ph.D. dissertation at ...
user avatar
28 votes

Are old (>35) faculty candidates discriminated against all over the world?

Absolutely not. Age discrimination is explicitly illegal in the US. (I believe the same is true in Canada and most European countries.) Even as the chair of my department's recruiting committee, I ...
user avatar
  • 96.8k
28 votes
Accepted

Why do most talented children still enter college after the age of 18?

I don't think there is a need for this. Realistically, you can perhaps push the entrance age by one to three years: that compared with the expected working life of 44 years (from ages 23 to 67) is ...
user avatar
  • 21k
25 votes

How old is too old for a PhD?

This is a slightly different view of some issues raised in a recent answer. That answer stated some of the disadvantages of being a mature PhD student, but missed several major advantages that mature ...
user avatar
24 votes

To enroll in to a PhD Program at the age of 65

It could be hard to get into a PhD program since potential advisers will be looking for students who will have many productive years ahead to establish a legacy. But you don't need a PhD to be a ...
user avatar
22 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

In my opinion, there is no age limit for doing academic research. As far as it seems you have sufficient academic background, so prepare your resume and send your request to the universities. Do not ...
user avatar
  • 7,380
21 votes

Average age to start a PhD and correlation to future career

There are many confounding variables (field of study, country, citizenship status, sex, race/ethnicity, probably many others) that correlate with both age at doctorate (as seen below) and post-PhD ...
user avatar
  • 107k
21 votes
Accepted

How feasible to learn undergraduate math in one year?

I see that this question is being voted down for being interesting, so let me blacken my own reputation by addressing it. Mathematics undergraduates do not study mathematics. They study studying, they ...
user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

How were people able to graduate with a PhD at a such young age in the past?

One relevant aspect is the shift in the socially acceptable career schedule of people. The age of adulthood has been shifted from 13-15 y.o. to 18 in Europe and 21 in North America. This is not only ...
user avatar
  • 26.7k
19 votes

How old is too old for a PhD?

I know this is an older question but recently similar questions have popped up. So, I'll give my input as a recently graduated PhD. My answer: It's never late to do a PhD, but you need to be well ...
user avatar
  • 7,404
19 votes

Are old (>35) faculty candidates discriminated against all over the world?

(This started out as a comment on JeffE's answer, but became too long, and I don't want to clutter his post.) This is a gross simplification, but what hiring committees care about is your future ...
user avatar
19 votes

Why do most talented children still enter college after the age of 18?

Would you like your extraordinary talented kid to go to college that early? I wouldn't. Don't rob children of their childhood. Being educated and being a brilliant scientist is valuable, but is ...
user avatar
  • 289
18 votes

Job Market: should one hide their (young) age?

If you have well regarded publications and some demonstration of teaching experience at the collegiate level, your age may not be of significant concern to hiring committees. If I was a 45 year old on ...
user avatar
  • 18.4k
17 votes
Accepted

Am I likely to be perceived as less successful if I start as an assistant professor at age 40?

I would say it depends. In the following question, JeffE resoundingly stated that age does not play into the decision whether to appoint somebody for an academic position. Yet, ETH Zurich (one of the ...
user avatar
  • 126k
17 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

I completed my Ph.D. in computer science at UCSD in 2009, when I was 60 years old. I don't think being a few years older than that would have made any difference. The only problem I had in the ...
user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

How do academics deal with growing old?

All people deal with getting old(er) in some way, but I can think of a few aspects that are unique to academics. One way to keep up the performance is to gradually shift from hands-on work to ...
user avatar
  • 7,613
16 votes

How much do my career prospects suffer if I start a mathematics/CS PhD. at the age of 27?

How much do my career prospects suffer if I start a mathematics/CS PhD. at the age of 27? Not at all. 27 is not considered "old" by any stretch of the imagination. Also see this answer on ...
user avatar
  • 107k
14 votes
Accepted

How should I take a potential PhD supervisor's age into account, when planning to follow PhD with habilitation?

First: a few people commented that thinking about your postdoc/Habilitation before even starting your Ph.D. is premature. I disagree. I have seen too many people coast along during their Ph.D. time ...
user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Any experience in working with aged emeritus supervisors?

Quick Answer: The downside might be his age, but the upside is plenty! It is obvious that the age might be a factor, however you are not dealing with a dance instructor or a body builder here. Look ...
user avatar
  • 7,570
13 votes

I want to do research but I'm too old for a PHD

I received my PhD last year at 54 years old. It took me eight years part time while I worked full time. I had taken classes in the 1980s at Drexel in Philadelphia and remembered a 60 yr old PhD ...
user avatar
  • 139
12 votes

I am 58 years old, can I pursue a PhD?

Well, I was 58 when I applied for the Ph.D. program from which I received my doctorate, so the answer is yes.
user avatar
  • 25.1k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible