How should a partial PhD be presented on resume when looking for a job?
January 7, 2013 10:46 AM Subscribe
I’m looking for opinions on how to best represent coursework and research taken toward a PhD on my resume.
posted by Lord Force Crater to science & nature (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Backstory: I graduated high school in 2004, finished my BSc in 2008, MSc in 2010, and immediately started working on a PhD after finishing my MSc. Soon after starting my PhD with the same advisor I did my MSc under, my advisor took a job in industry. The advisor agreed to continue to serve on my committee as my primary advisor, and at the time there wasn’t a suitable replacement within the department for what I wanted to continue doing research on. I continued taking coursework until the end of May 2012 when I finished my last class and withdrew from the program. I had an assistantship throughout, but didn’t feel that the environment was right for me to continue with a PhD after my advisor left. While working on my MSc the lab was always busy with multiple projects and other graduate students. After my advisor left and other students started to graduate, the energy began to wane to where at the end it was just me working toward a PhD by myself. During this time another professor was hired to fill the position vacated by my former advisor, but I didn’t feel their research interests were aligned with mine, and I was hesitant to start a new research focus with a new, first-time professor in what would be a new lab.
I did well academically throughout my time at school, was awarded Outstanding Master’s Student at the department for my MSc, and was able to publish a first-author paper from my master’s research. My lab skills are sharp, I’m creative and young, and I want to continue working on a career in the sciences. However, I haven’t had any luck finding a job since leaving school. Is the job market for researchers that bad? How would someone hiring for a science job view an additional two years in school with no degree to show for it? Has anyone been in a similar situation and what did they do about it? The bulk of the science jobs in the vicinity of where I live are academic and I would like to work in industry. Should I relocate myself to an area with more science jobs? I intend to go back to school and finish a PhD one day, but right now I am more interested in working.