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Tim - advice
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Name: Tim
PhD discipline: History/American studies
Area(s) of work: Academic research support administration
Year of graduation: 2000
Date of Interview: 19/06/2008

Now Playing: Tim - advice
Tim considers what advice he would give to someone thinking about a career in HE admin rather than academia.

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If you were to advise somebody who's coming towards the end of their PhD and they're not sure that they want to pursue an academic career, but are considering a job in HE Admin what kind of things would you say to them? 

I think it's certainly worth considering because there are benefits to it, I mean the environment is appealing I think, it's going to be appealing to people who have worked in University in some capacity, for people who have done PhD, its not going to be the terrible culture shock that some other jobs might be for people. But I think people need to realise that they're going to be administrators if they're working in admin so they're not researchers and there are downsides to that in terms of one's status, so it might be a shock to move from being a PhD student where you have a certain amount of academic kudos to being an administrator where in some ways you don't. It's slightly strange because you can actually have a PhD but then the status is different so I think people need to be aware of that, and also there are just things that you need to do as an administrator just in terms of getting a job done, at a fairly mundane level sometimes. So I think they need to be aware of that.

But on a positive note?

Yeah, sorry. Started off positive but (laughs) well I think people who have done PhDs generally have a fondness for higher education and a belief in it. I think working in administration can certainly make you feel like you're contributing to that in some way. In research or teaching or international relations, all sorts of things where having a background in higher education would be very useful.

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