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Robert - expectations of where the PhD might lead
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Name: Robert
PhD discipline: History
Area(s) of work: Academic research support administration
Year of graduation: 2003
Date of Interview: 17/06/2008

Now Playing: Robert - expectations of where the PhD might lead
Robert discusses how he saw an academic career as a natural next step, but then considered his other options.

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Where, if anywhere, did you see yourself beyond the PhD? 

I think I had this vague idea that the people who had PhDs went into academic jobs and I didn't really realise quite how intense that competition was and in fact I think it's only really in the last couple of years because my girlfriend is a more recent PhD graduate than I am and is currently applying for jobs and its only really seeing her doing that, that has made me really appreciate quite how difficult it is. I don't think even when I'd finished the PhD I realised quite how bad it was myself.

I'm not sure that I saw myself doing an academic job. It was more that I sort of thought that was the natural progression and I didn't really see what else was out there. It was later on when I saw over the course of my PhD other friends of mine with PhDs who hadn't gone into academic jobs who had become teachers or some of them had gone to work in IT but they were the more sciencey ones. Various other kinds of things, I can't think at the moment but I was thinking the other day about the number of people I know with PhDs who haven't become academics. It was quite high so seeing those people going on to do other things while I was doing my PhD I think made me think again about it a little bit.

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