227

Research in math (and I assume in general) is hard. It doesn't get better over time, but rather we seem to get used to the accompanying depression and angst. When I feel down, I try to remind myself that I do math because I enjoy it, not because I want to be the best at it, and for some reason people continue to pay me money to do it. If they stop, I'll ...


205

The issue is that the frame of your question is wrong. You’re assuming that the purpose of a PhD is to get an academic job, when that is not the case: Many people who get PhD’s have no desire for an academic job, even from the time they apply! The number of academic positions is indeed insufficient to absorb all the PhD’s. But there are lots of other “...


157

I am sorry that it happened to you. This is not a pleasant experience, and frankly it's a shame that toxic professors and supervisors are still common in academia. Academic research is broad and multi-dimensional. Some people excel in writing proofs, others design and set up wonderful experiments, collect useful data and find beautiful dependencies within. ...


155

Some of my observations: They don't know what they're going into. Most PhD students have some idea of how hard it is to get a job afterwards, but don't actually know. It's similar to how one can imagine what skydiving is like, but don't actually know until after trying it. They're confident they can succeed. PhD students are some of the smartest of their ...


155

It looks to me like you did not do so badly as you think. Two publications and 3.7 GPA are not so bad. It might depend on the field, it might not be the best ever, but I have seen much worse. If your supervisor offered you a postdoc position after having you for 6 years as a PhD student, it means that they consider your work useful. You might be suffering ...


153

I don't know why you think there are any options other than both. Of course you shouldn't just say "I'm having difficulties, full stop" without talking about what you have tried. Of course you shouldn't just say "this is what I did" without also talking about where you're stuck. You sound like you're worried about making the best impression on this ...


149

I'm deeply involved in web technologies, including search results. The simplest and fastest way to solve this problem is to add other search results. The more "legitimate" and positive results found, the less likely the others will be seen. There are numerous factors in raising search results, but still: Create another Stack Exchange account with your name ...


134

Relax. No one cares, and no one will judge you on what you said when you were 12. (At least, no one who was ever 12 years old themselves...)


129

I don't really want a degree. There are many good reasons to get a PhD. Probably lots of people get say, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees, because they just want a degree, but the number of people who get a PhD just for the sake of getting a degree is (in my opinion) lower (for example, you might want to teach at the university level, see answers ...


121

Because it's fun! No, really. I went to do a PhD because I thought it was fun. It allowed me to live in an awesome location, travel around the world to conferences and summer schools, to spend years doing exciting research with nice colleagues, and even getting paid for all of it (and in Sweden, the pay is not bad at slightly above the national median ...


117

Talking about quitting with your supervisor (or someone else in your supervisory committee or department) is not a point of no return. In fact, it can be a turning point. PhD students all go through ups and downs and part of the job of the supervisor, and others in the department and university (head of department, counsellors, etc) is to help you get ...


101

Holding a PhD in math would usually disqualify you from being admitted into a PhD program in mathematics. Even if it does not do so officially, I'd consider it next to impossible to get scholarships. That said, being a postdoc in math is not really much different from being a PhD student. However, even being a postdoc forever is not easy. Many funding ...


101

There are exceptions in some specific fields (for example accounting) where corporate jobs are much more attractive than academic ones, but, in general, an academic considers themselves very lucky if they can find any academic job at all, let alone one in a particular city.


100

Some thoughts: Suggest counseling. They are much more likely to be able to help support her in expressing her goals to her parents, understanding their position, and perhaps in negotiating some sort of compromise with them. Family relationship issues are likely to be a pretty common concern for college students, and a university counseling service will ...


95

I have had a small number of students in the same situation over the decades. My first rule is: Don't get between the student and the parents. That's a complicated and stormy dynamic and I can't do anything but harm there. My second rule is: Advise the student to cede to the parents for the undergrad degree. To the student, the 4 years of undergrad ...


94

I am a professor of (theoretical) mathematics at a state university in the US. In recent years I have advised a number of graduate students: so far, one master's student and three PhD students have written theses under my direction, and I currently have two PhD students. Just now I tried to look back over these six students and recall if any of them ever ...


91

In CS field, an entry-level software engineer in top-tier tech companies (e.g. Google, Facebook, etc.) could earn as much as a 20-year experience professor....Why do so many PhDs still choose to be a professor while they have the choice to go to the industry? First, your assumption is wrong. Most PhDs end up in industry. I don't have any source but I ...


90

Let me just comment on what you say towards the end, wich I believe is the root of your predicament. I hate being poor and lonely. I am approaching 30 without any relationship (even friendships). Throughout my life, I kept thinking about publishing and publishing, people will treat me better. ... [I kept] thinking this is what defines me. I am sad. People ...


88

The first paper I read took two months to process. Now, I can skim through two papers for breakfast. It is not that you get more material to read, but rather you get much more efficient at skipping things you know or recognize as unimportant. It comes with practice - try reading papers and books, and think about what are the important parts. Learn to ...


87

If I'm understanding the answer correct, professors need funding to do research, but once they get it, the university takes some of the grant as overheads (to pay for office space, electricity, etc), and the cut the university takes is substantial The number of services provided by a university is substantial, of which space and electricity are the least of ...


87

You did a PhD in 5 years, published 4 papers and got an offer for a 2-year postdoc position in times where research funding decreases. Keep going, looks fine. Take some courses or workshops on topics where you think you aren't skilled enough, but given that you could publish, I suspect that you underestimate yourself here. "Can I still get into ...


84

This is a bit opinion-based, but I'll offer my own personal take on an answer in the hopes that it might be useful; at least parts of what I wrote below seem pretty generally applicable to me. Is it possible to survive/remain in academia by working normal hours (8-9 hours per day) without working evenings, weekends, holidays, without feeling guilty about ...


79

As most of the comments already say, doing a second PhD is probably not a good use of your time and not very helpful. From an industry perspective you have a math PhD, that means you are very smart and can learn anything, especially any maths very quickly. Learning some statistics or machine learning can be very helpful for an industry career but there is no ...


75

I am going to answer from a rather different perspective, that of someone who has been involved in technical hiring, the sort of person who is going to be looking at your job application and possibly interviewing you if you go into industry. I'm a retired computer programmer and computer architect, and have spent many hours trying to pick the right people to ...


75

Instead of the legal aspects, I would like to address the professional and ethical aspects of the pronouns trend. In my opinion, the purpose of announcing your pronouns is to indicate that you will address other people with respect. The message that is sent is: since I told you my pronouns, you know that if you tell me how you want to be addressed I will ...


73

The statements what are the chances that a student with a thesis in TOPIC Y would have his application taken very seriously into consideration by a group like yours? and it will have a great impact in (sic) my application strategy and maybe in the selection of the advisor for the thesis tell me you are not specifically interested in applying here. ...


71

He may be competing with your supervisor. He may not like your general topic. He may not like you. Or, he really believes what he says. Or he wants to test you. You don't know. You have to live with people who confuse what's going on with prejudice- or agenda-coloured "truth". Practically all successful researchers have encountered such put-downs. ...


69

As a PhD student, you don't have to want an academic career. It's not unethical to pursue a PhD with no intention of staying in academia afterward. But lying about your plans and deliberately misleading is wrong and unfair to your advisor. You wrote: However, my advisor seems to be especially invested in making me a viable academic researcher because ...


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