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Leave with MA or finish PhD?


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Hey Everyone,

I imagine this is a topic that may have been addressed elsewhere (so feel free to redirect me), but as the title above indicates I'm trying to decide whether to leave my program with an MA or continue on and finish the PhD. I have all the usual concerns associated with this decision (job prospects outside of academia with vs. without an PhD etc.) and would appreciate any feedback on these aspects, but I think for me the heart of the question centers on whether it makes sense to finish the PhD if I "like" but perhaps do not "love" history.

I've been in my program for 2 years now and have completed everything asked of me with no major bumps in the road. The issue is that I've come to realize the research component of our profession is much more of a chore than a joy for me. When I entered the program I already knew I was more interested in teaching than in research, but recently this balance has become even more skewed. Is it worth it to stick it out for a few more years and hope for a job at a teaching oriented liberal arts college, or, given the state of the job market, does it make more sense to take my MA and find something else? Thanks in advance!

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Every PhD student who I met, while writing their dissertation, told me that it wasn't until their dissertation that they realized how much they love teaching, much more than researching. If they had known, I think, they would've just left with the MA. The research is solitude (but it is what you make of it). If you're happy at the thought of just teaching at a prep or secondary level school, then leave with your MA. Remember, the PhD IS research oriented and designed to turn you into a scholar not a teacher.

Remember, you also have to apply for fellowships to sustain your research and writing until you're finished. Do you like that thought of applying for a number of fellowships?

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