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HKgal

Job offer Vs PhD

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Dear folks,

I am very troubled now. I am given a job offer with a really high salary...but then Penn State sent me an email recently and told me that they may give me an offer and will choose either me or another girl. The date of signing the contract is 8 April...but then, the reply from Penn State is 10 April. That firm disagreed to postpone the date for signing the contract. So what should I do?

HKgal

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Hmmm... my guess is that no one on this forum will be able to give you good advice on this question. It's just too personal, and it all depends on what you want out of life, and what you would like to be doing 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. If your life's ambition is to be an academic and a sociologist, take the offer at Penn State and don't look back. If you're not sure, and have professional ambitions that this job will bring you a step closer to achieving, then take the job. Likewise if you have very pressing financial issues that the job would help resolve.

Long story short, take the job if it's what you really want to do, or go to grad school if that's what you really want to do in life. If you're really truly unsure, I'd vote for the job. At least you could walk away with a pile of money if you decide it's not for you. But if you're leaning towards school, though, don't let the money tempt you into a career that's not really in line with what you hope to do with your life.

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Let me get this straight - Penn State is giving you until the 10th basically to decide whether you want to be considered from the waitlist? That is unethical... although I realize there's nothing you can do about it.

What would be the repurcussions for backing out of the job contract? I understand that it's generally unprofessional to break those sorts of contracts, but when you're talking about an important life decision like this I think you could be forgiven for backing out later. If you go for the Penn State degree with the intention of a US academic career, your career path will be dramatically different and I would imangine that it's unlikely you will ever have to deal with this company again.

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Guys, thanks for your reply. I have signed the contract finally...the remuneration package is really cool...and yesterday night, I beg Penn State to give me a reply earlier. And after a few hours, I received a reply from Penn State saying that they are offering to another candidate instead of me. Of course, I am very upset about this...I have been waitlisted for three different uni and it turns out that two of them have rejected me. The final one is New York Uni and I think the chance is very slim.

In fact, I am eager to get into the academic field...maybe I should wait for 2 more years and hope that the US economy can get better. I guess by then I should have a higher chance to get into the program & have fundings from the schools.

Thanks again for your advice.

HKgal

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Let me get this straight - Penn State is giving you until the 10th basically to decide whether you want to be considered from the waitlist? That is unethical... although I realize there's nothing you can do about it.

What would be the repurcussions for backing out of the job contract? I understand that it's generally unprofessional to break those sorts of contracts, but when you're talking about an important life decision like this I think you could be forgiven for backing out later. If you go for the Penn State degree with the intention of a US academic career, your career path will be dramatically different and I would imangine that it's unlikely you will ever have to deal with this company again.

Sounds like this person hasn't accepted the job offer yet. As for repercussions, even if she has accepted the job offer, people back out of job acceptances all the time and based on my own sense of the situation, it doesn't exclude you from "the club" the way that academics might (though you may not be able to get another job at that particular company).

But, let's say there's offers from both, and you don't know what to do. The way I see it, the economy is really bad right now, so jobs are hard to come by. On the other hand, funded PhDs are even harder to come by under any economic circumstances, and I think next year's admissions will be even tougher with so many smart people out of work or in fear of losing their jobs. If you take the job, you may not be able to get into a PhD program again. If you take the PhD, well, similar jobs will still be available for you if you change your mind later - that's the way I've been approaching it now that I've accepted a PhD offer and am getting calls back from jobs I applied to 6 months ago.

Also a "really high salary" pretty much guarantees really long hours, especially when you're the new person at the company, so you've got to LOVE the work. And, I assume you're not desperate for the money since you're considering a PhD in the first place. So I vote for the PhD, as long as it's a good academic fit for you.

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