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I am in my third year of a five year PhD program, and the further I get into my field of study, the more I realize that this is not the field/career choice for me. I have invested so much time, money, and effort on this degree so far, but I really do not see myself being happy if this is what I do the rest of my life. I am seriously considering dropping out of the program, but I don’t want the whole experience to be a waste. What do I do?
Dr. René M. Paulson is currently director of statistical consulting for Texas Woman’s University, founder and senior statistician for Elite Research, LLC, and has earned a Ph.D. and Masters degree in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University after obtaining her Bachelors degree from Ohio University...
Dear Changing Fields,
This may be the most commonly asked question of all graduate students. In fact, I don’t know a single student who has survived graduate school without asking this of themselves.
The first thing to consider is whether you are simply temporarily frustrated with your progress in the program or some other aspect of your schooling (e.g., getting along with advisors and fellow students, worry about subsequent job opportunities, frustration with rejection from journals). . .