Jump to content

Question about Working while in PhD program?


Recommended Posts

Hello all,

My current employer is pushing to have me stay with them in some capacity while I complete my PhD.

Right now, I am leaning towards the Pardee RAND PhD in Policy Analysis, where I have been accepted. This program is truly a great fit for me with a pretty good financial package - however, the financial package includes needing to work as a researcher a select number of hours at the RAND think-tank in order to earn that package. I suppose that is similar to being a RA at a traditional university. The way they estimate it for me is that I would have around $26-$28k in stipend each year after taxes and tuition. That's great and I am extremely thankful.

However, it is also in Santa Monica, a suburb of Los Angeles even more expensive than most of LA. Avg. rent there is around $4k!!! Of course, I am sure I can find something cheaper, maybe $2k a month with transit, but I don't want to live in a bad place and I really would prefer to live alone (not with a roommate). So continuing to work for my employer, even if in a limited capacity for just an extra $1k a month, would help considerably.

Long story short - is working an outside job during my first years in PhD program feasible (I know that is when course load is highest)? Is it something school's tend to accept or have a problem with? Could the "type" of employment matter (for example, if I am a "consultant" for my current employer during the PhD program instead of an "employee")? Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Departmental policies about outside employment vary, so I would definitely check with the Director of Graduate Studies to see if they allow it. In my experience, it would not have been feasible for me to hold outside employment while I was completing coursework. I have worked between 15 and 25 hours per week on top of my PhD since I completed coursework, and that has been manageable. I have also taught one course each semester as part of my program funding; if you're not expected to teach or TA, you may be able to manage working more hours when out of coursework or working a few hours while you're in coursework. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use