Thinking aloud

Having successfully transferred on to the final stage of the doctorate, for the first time I am in a position to see the dim light at the end of the tunnel, and what a wonderful journey it has been.

The curious thing about doctoral work, at least in the social sciences, is that you are bound to go down all the wrong alleys and end up in a place that you had never before envisaged. This has nothing to do with bad planning, on the contrary, it is about coming to grips with complexity and a great deal of luck; meeting the right people in the right place, stumbling upon informative books and articles in places no-one thought possible, and, of course, trying to keep up spirits in what inevitably will turn out to be a very lonely endeavour.

People have asked me why I would ever want to waste 3+ years doing a DPhil when I am not even sure I want an academic career. Admittedly, I envy those of my friends who are now two years up the corporate/start-up ladder and ‘worry’ about such things as real estate and the next promotion. On the other hand, no matter how ‘poor’ I may be at present and in the foreseeable future, let there be no doubt; I have been laughing all the way, and I will continue to do so.

Broadly speaking, with ‘ethics’ popping up everywhere and a severe lack of expertise in many fields*, there are three professional avenues opening up: a) research/lecturing in academia, b) working in industry in a CSR postion, or c) becoming a start-up guy. Each option comes with its own merits and risks, but an ideal solution might be found in combining a) with either b) or c), so that is what I am pursuing.

*I will write a separate post on this in a not too distant future.

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