If I may briefly comment on Matthew Grober's assertion that going straight
into a Ph.D. program, instead of doing a master's, is a better strategy
for obtaining a research position...
I believe completing a master's degree is much more a selling point
than being able to say that one went straight into a Ph.D. program after
undergrad. Doing the master's allows one to explore topics in your
chosen field, and have a strong basis for your choice of topic for a
Ph.D. It also teaches you "how to do science", by teaching and/or
improving your experimentation, writing, and analytical skills (hopefully
expressed as one or more publications). I *am* a student, (and I *did*
get a master's before enrolling in a Ph.D. program), so I am not involved
in perusing resumes and hiring for academic positions... but I hope that
when I apply for these positions myself, my potential employers recognize
the value that some time spent before going into a Ph.D. program can have.
Thanks; I am enjoying these discussions and paying careful attention
to the concensus!!
School of Marine Science
College of William and Mary
Gloucester Point, VA 23062
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