PhD, to be or not...

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Hi Philip,
I wandered to your website from google searches. I am British Citizen
working for a top IT company in Poland. I have an MBA specialising in
Mgt of IT. I have an oppurtunity to do a PhD at the Warsaw University
of Technology, i have already met the Dirctor of PhD program and had
few email exchanges with the possible supervisor, all is fine. I work
as an SAP BI Consultant ( specialist in Business Information
Warehousing tool of SAP AG). I love (i think) Data mining field and i
want to pursue a PhD in this subject. I will be doing a Part-time
Phd, as i can not afford to leave my job, as i need to provide for my
family and i have no funding.
The folks at the Uni are wonderfully helpful, and the program suits
my needs...
I want to get back to Contracting (as currently i am a permanent
Employee) and i want to consult, and if i DO the Phd, i DO NOT want
to work as an Academic teaching in a university (nothing against
that, its just not me) i love consulting (Freelance) and i want to
better in my field of BI (which is a tool of Data Mining)
the Question is:
Are there any other possible roles for me in the future as aa SAP/IT
consultant with a PhD other than career as an academic?
Will it help me climb the corporate ladder when i do want to work not
as a contractor (settle down for a long term projects)?
I thank you in advance for your answer and advise.
Kind Regards

-- Simon Black, July 15, 2009


I'm rather surprised that you can find anyone in academia who understands your interests as well as you do! Certainly the average Computer Science professor here in the U.S. has never heard of SAP and is not a competent developer of SQL applications.

A Ph.D. is a good asset for a consultant because it makes it easier for people to justify hiring you and paying you more than they would an in-house expert.

A PhD program in the U.S. is too painful to endure merely for the credential. You need to have a passionate desire to answer a question or solve a problem and write up the answer/solution for others to use. A European PhD is typically less time-consuming, but still a lot of effort if the credential is your main goal.

-- Philip Greenspun, July 15, 2009

Hi Philip, Thanks for your response. My apologies in a delayed "thanks" response, as i am in a training. Kind Regards Simon

-- Simon Black, July 21, 2009