The idea of doing some research that I’m extremely interested in is still very appealing to me. It’s just that…I don’t want to do the PhD to get there, and it may not really be necessary. Like in the Nature article, there are ways to get involved in research at the entry or mid-level. I just won’t be able to be a Principal Investigator (PI) on any grant proposals.
And I’m glad of it! Being a PI comes with great expectations and responsibilities. You are tasked with accomplishing the Great and Many things that you promised in the proposals, and at the same time you have to stay within The Budget. Then you have to get your work published in High Impact Journal A or High Impact Journal B, and then compete with peers all over again for more funding.
Not to mention, when you exit with your PhD, your options are both limited and wide-ranging at the same time. Limited in that you probably won’t want to settle for something that pays less or doesn’t acknowledge your Killer Skills or Awesome Expertise. And you do come out an expert…in a very very very specific area, which in turn may lead to more limitation. Your options are wide-ranging in the way that you could go to many different places in the world, granted that there are people who want you on their team. But even that seems to ultimately be somewhat limiting, because jumping from place to place is not conducive to the paper-publishing feedback-loop of a career of the PhD.
I’m not bashing on PhDs, or the system (though it seems very flawed). I’m just saying here, out loud, finally, that I’ve changed my mind and it isn’t for me. I’ve got my Masters, and that might be enough. Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind, but I’m not going to feel bad about this choice or any other subsequent choice. I’m not 100% sure where I’m headed now, but I’m excited about figuring it out and going with wherever it takes me.
Whew! That was a load off! I hope I haven’t disappointed you.