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PhD or non-PhD

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Old 29-01-2018, 11:10 AM
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Default PhD or non-PhD

I am a microbiologist with masters degree and 4 years of work experience, typically in research labs, currently, a research assistant in NUS. I am willing to pursue PhD fro NUS/NTU.
Please pour in thoughts and experiences regarding if PhD (my long term aspiration) will help me make a successful career in terms of monitory gain in Pharma and life science industry. How useful it is when it comes to climbing up ladders in industry to obtain a decisive role and handsome salary (obviously, not immediately but few years down the road)?
On the other hand, is it going to me more beneficiary to take up a job like quality assurance specialist or a biotechnologist?
Thanks...

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Old 29-01-2018, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SaBha View Post
I am a microbiologist with masters degree and 4 years of work experience, typically in research labs, currently, a research assistant in NUS. I am willing to pursue PhD fro NUS/NTU.
Please pour in thoughts and experiences regarding if PhD (my long term aspiration) will help me make a successful career in terms of monitory gain in Pharma and life science industry. How useful it is when it comes to climbing up ladders in industry to obtain a decisive role and handsome salary (obviously, not immediately but few years down the road)?
On the other hand, is it going to me more beneficiary to take up a job like quality assurance specialist or a biotechnologist?
Thanks...
For a start, can you give some preliminary thoughts over the next 5 years what sort of career track (in terms of job progression) and salary numbers you are expecting by joining the private pharma sector?

This will give everyone a gauge of your expectation, interest and better give you advice. Otherwise everyone has different concept of "successful career in terms of monitory gain" and end up talking in circles.

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Old 30-01-2018, 10:34 AM
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Hi
Basically, I want to know where would I be after 5-6 years with and without PhD.
Let me also give some background, I am currently working in National University of Singapore and looking for PhD opportunities in Singapore. I want to know what salary a PhD candidate with 4 years of experience (before PhD) can expect at the beginning. Say, If I get into a post-doctoral position for a year or an year and half, I might get around 4000SGD, but would that really help me to secure a permanent job in industry later. Will I be getting a salary around 6000 or more?
On the other hand, if I dont go for PhD and get a job I believe I would be getting around 3000 SGD to 3500 SGD at this point in time. How much do jobs like Quality asurance specialist/ microbiologist/ biotechnologist etc pay? What is the growth rate for such roles? and Is not having PhD really becomes hindrance especially in life sciences?
I understand that it depends on many factors, but I am looking for a general opinion regarding a career in life sciences with PhD and without PhD.

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Old 30-01-2018, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by SaBha View Post
Hi
Basically, I want to know where would I be after 5-6 years with and without PhD.
Let me also give some background, I am currently working in National University of Singapore and looking for PhD opportunities in Singapore. I want to know what salary a PhD candidate with 4 years of experience (before PhD) can expect at the beginning. Say, If I get into a post-doctoral position for a year or an year and half, I might get around 4000SGD, but would that really help me to secure a permanent job in industry later. Will I be getting a salary around 6000 or more?
On the other hand, if I dont go for PhD and get a job I believe I would be getting around 3000 SGD to 3500 SGD at this point in time. How much do jobs like Quality asurance specialist/ microbiologist/ biotechnologist etc pay? What is the growth rate for such roles? and Is not having PhD really becomes hindrance especially in life sciences?
I understand that it depends on many factors, but I am looking for a general opinion regarding a career in life sciences with PhD and without PhD.
Hi, I was in a PhD programme but unfortunately dropped out. PhD stipend varies from 2k to 3.5k per month, depending on scholarship and not based on your working experience. After you've graduated, you may get a post doc opportunity (globally, depending on your connections). There is no permanent job in the industry especially for research as its contract and grant based. As a freshly minted PhD, you are not guaranteed a high pay. As a guide, ASTAR Post Docs are getting about 4+ to 5.5k. If you are in for the science and knowledge, at the same time loaded with money, go do your PhD. If you want money, its going to be a stressful 5 years of your life. While you see your peers setting up their family, all you can do is to focus on your project.

Although it sounds nice and sexy to get a PhD, you have to consider that the higher the posting, the lesser the opportunity for vacancies.

Above are just my 2cents worth.
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Old 30-01-2018, 12:17 PM
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Thanks a lot.
I understand PhD is a stressful period in life. I wish to get into this willingly. I also understand Post-doc positions are not permanent and grant based. I just wonder is this grueling period of 5 yrs for phd + 2 yrs of post doc will help me stand a lucrative opportunities in future in pharma/ biotech industry, preferably in Singapore or anywhere in the world.
Or if I don't go for PhD and get a Jr level job right away, would it pay me more after 6-7 years than what I could fetch with PhD?
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Old 30-01-2018, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SaBha View Post
Thanks a lot.
I understand PhD is a stressful period in life. I wish to get into this willingly. I also understand Post-doc positions are not permanent and grant based. I just wonder is this grueling period of 5 yrs for phd + 2 yrs of post doc will help me stand a lucrative opportunities in future in pharma/ biotech industry, preferably in Singapore or anywhere in the world.
Or if I don't go for PhD and get a Jr level job right away, would it pay me more after 6-7 years than what I could fetch with PhD?
PhD holder here.

anyway cant your masters get you a career in the industry u like right now? then why did you take your masters for? masters for 1 year only, right? anyway if your masters is just going to get a Jr level job... hmm... suggest for you to really think through your entire career and education track... and not waste your time if all you want is high position and high pay.

go and have a check at your preferred career and their job descriptions and see if they require a PhD at all. from what i see... u hold no private industry experience. mainly only academics or research. 4 years in NUS as a ???, currently a masters-holder, and considering PHD. by the time, you graduate from PhD, what are you considering?

Is PHD recognised in the industry you would like to work at? most probably their job description will be --> "at least a honours degree, masters or PHD have an added advantage"

anyway what PhD field are you looking at?

go have a chitchat with the professor (your preferred PhD supervisor) you want to work with and have a chat with his group members (current and ex PhD students) and go find out where are they working at. Is that your dream career? and do they have trouble looking for job and which field are they looking at.

anyway by the time you complete your PhD, it is going to be at least 3-4 years down the road. make sure your field is still relevant and competitive where private industries and also research or academic are highly looking for.
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Old 26-09-2020, 11:37 AM
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PhD holder here. If you cannot end up getting a faculty position in uni, no point doing a PhD. No industry wants one 30+ yrs old with zero industry experience. You can get a better pay accumulating your working experience than a piece of paper.
And don't ask your supervisor for advice, especially if he/she is under 45 yrs old. Only thing in their mind is to get students work as their slaves and take credit from the result. Ask the post-docs around you, or just observe their lives and see if it's something you want to be after 4-5 years struggling for the degree.
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