Military Significant Others and Spouse Support - MilitarySOS.com
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: To be or not to be...a doctoral student

  1. Senior Member
    Kirst's Avatar
    Kirst is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,151
    Blog Entries
    2
    #1

    To be or not to be...a doctoral student

    Advertisements
    HALP! (Long post, sorry )

    I am half way through with my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Starting to burn out and looking forward to just working and starting my life (moving in with DB, start talking about marriage and kids down the line). However, I was talking to my therapist and she was encouraging me to continue my education and get my doctorate (PsyD). The difference would allow me to teach, which I would like to do at some point, make me more marketable as a clinician, and make about $20,000 more a year than with my masters. That would provide me with more of a lifestyle I would like to live.

    I found a program that would get me my degree in 3 years and going to classes every other Saturday. But I would have to write a dissertation and find internships/practicum on top of a job (assuming my job or future job couldn't sign off on those hours). This could potentially prolong marriage and kids because of a busy schedule but the payoff sounds great.

    Does anyone have experience or input? I'm hesitant because I'm feeling burned out on school, since I've been a college student for 7 straight years and I don't want to put off marriage and kids for another four years. But I also like the opportunities having my doctorate can afford for me and future family. I briefly talked to DB about it, who's 30 and I'm 24, and he said he supports me but I get the feeling he would want to have children in the same time frame. Ideally, if I made good money with my degree to support us, I wouldn't mind getting married and having a baby within the next few years as long as he could stay home with it. But he's also working towards a degree and I wouldn't want him to stop his education that he's been working sooo hard on. I know this would require a more in-depth convo with him but I'd like some input before I decide to even pursue this.
  2. Senior Member
    bdizzle's Avatar
    bdizzle is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    19,693
    #2
    I'm doing it. I was looking forward to making money and all and then decided to commit to law school. It just opens more doors and gets me to where I want to be. I've been in school the last 7 years too... Its hard. I took about two months off in the summer and that really helped me I think. I also *really* wanted to do law school. It can be hard to stay focused and committed if you're doing because someone told you to. My dad always said go straight through, it's really hard to go back.

    DH just turned 30 and I'm 25, almost 26. He knows that since I've done this, I'm not looking to start having kids until I'm 28 minimum. Probably more like 29-30. He's come to accept that. I know some people who have had kids in doctorate school, and it's doable, just not for me. I've got goals that are really important to me. I know I hated this when people said it to me then, but 24 is so young. So long as there's no fertility issues like I have, 24 is honestly more than 10 years of possible child bearing.

    You've gotta figure out what *YOU* want to do. Do you *want* a doctorate? Or is it only an idea because someone said you should? Or because you think you should?


  3. Senior Member
    PaUSMC's Avatar
    PaUSMC is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    655
    #3
    I would be careful that "burn out" isn't the reason why you would decide to not pursue a PhD. If you don't want to pursue a PhD because it's not in-line with other life goals (e.g. having kids sooner) than that's okay. But that's different than saying you have been in school for so long and don't want to keep going, even though the PhD is the path you really want. If you are ever going to do the PhD now is the time, life only gets busier and more complicated. Plus once you get used to making real money the thought of going back to being a graduate student is scary in itself.

    We were in a similar situation years ago, and DB and I have a similar age gap. I was in a Masters program and was offered the opportunity to convert to a PhD for *sigh* only three more years. In the end I knew I wouldn't want to teach and wouldn't need a PhD for the field I wanted to be in, and DB had a super demanding career and lifestyle. I didn't think I could swing it, but I was careful to make sure I wasn't ditching because of "burn out" (even though I was definitely at that point, if your not, your not getting the true graduate school experience ). I'm happy with my decision, but I remember it being really hard. It seems like your leaning more towards the other way, I know how it feels to totally just want to start "real life" though. Good luck
  4. Senior Member
    Kirst's Avatar
    Kirst is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,151
    Blog Entries
    2
    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PaUSMC View Post
    I would be careful that "burn out" isn't the reason why you would decide to not pursue a PhD. If you don't want to pursue a PhD because it's not in-line with other life goals (e.g. having kids sooner) than that's okay. But that's different than saying you have been in school for so long and don't want to keep going, even though the PhD is the path you really want. If you are ever going to do the PhD now is the time, life only gets busier and more complicated. Plus once you get used to making real money the thought of going back to being a graduate student is scary in itself.

    We were in a similar situation years ago, and DB and I have a similar age gap. I was in a Masters program and was offered the opportunity to convert to a PhD for *sigh* only three more years. In the end I knew I wouldn't want to teach and wouldn't need a PhD for the field I wanted to be in, and DB had a super demanding career and lifestyle. I didn't think I could swing it, but I was careful to make sure I wasn't ditching because of "burn out" (even though I was definitely at that point, if your not, your not getting the true graduate school experience ). I'm happy with my decision, but I remember it being really hard. It seems like your leaning more towards the other way, I know how it feels to totally just want to start "real life" though. Good luck
    Quote Originally Posted by bdizzle View Post
    I'm doing it. I was looking forward to making money and all and then decided to commit to law school. It just opens more doors and gets me to where I want to be. I've been in school the last 7 years too... Its hard. I took about two months off in the summer and that really helped me I think. I also *really* wanted to do law school. It can be hard to stay focused and committed if you're doing because someone told you to. My dad always said go straight through, it's really hard to go back.

    DH just turned 30 and I'm 25, almost 26. He knows that since I've done this, I'm not looking to start having kids until I'm 28 minimum. Probably more like 29-30. He's come to accept that. I know some people who have had kids in doctorate school, and it's doable, just not for me. I've got goals that are really important to me. I know I hated this when people said it to me then, but 24 is so young. So long as there's no fertility issues like I have, 24 is honestly more than 10 years of possible child bearing.

    You've gotta figure out what *YOU* want to do. Do you *want* a doctorate? Or is it only an idea because someone said you should? Or because you think you should?
    I think I presented this awkwardly. I wanted my doctorate until I figured out how much my MA could get me. And back then, I thought I was content with the breadth of work opportunity I'll get with my masters. However, now than I am almost done with the program, I am finding that the salaries and scope of practice may limit my potential and I am newly interested in continuing my education. But I am scared of how overwhelming it may be on top of the other life goals I want.

    Burn out is for sure a reason I am hesitating. But, I am nearing a big test for my program, which I have been studying for on top of my regular course work as well as juggling other life stuff, so I think I got burned out with life in general. Once I pass this, I'll essentially just have classes and work...which is normal for me. So I may be blowing my ability to balance a doctoral program out of proportion, which I often do And I realistically know that people juggle much more than what I'm complaining about but I guess I need more validation or input. I think I'm scared I'm going to miss out on life since I've been dedicating ALL OF MY TIME INTO SCHOOL SINCE THE DAY I WAS BORN Or I can truck through it and live the life and career I've dreamed of. Life decisions are hard.
  5. Regular Member
    marinemainsqueez's Avatar
    marinemainsqueez is offline
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    117
    #5
    I was in a very similar situation, just different occupation! I went back and got a second degree in nursing right after I finished my first degree, so it was a lot of nonstop schooling. Then, I toyed with the idea of going back again for my Master's in Nursing, but like you, I was worried about my timeline with everything. My options were:

    1. Stop for now with my nursing degree, work for a few years, have children, go back to school later when the kids are a bit older

    or

    2. Push through, apply for master's programs right away, and have another 2-3 years of school, pushing off starting a family because I know I wouldn't be able to balance new babies with school!

    I chose to push off my master's. Not only would I be waiting on children until after the master's program, but I also felt like I couldn't try for a family right away because I would be looking for new jobs, I wouldn't want to get a job and then go on maternity leave. In addition, nursing is ALL about the experience under your belt. Had I gone straight into the Master's programs, I would have walked out with a high degree but with no solo work experience which is very heavily weighted in nursing. The final kicker is I will be lucky to receive tuition reimbursement towards a master's program later on.

    Like you, I was also just ready to work for a bit and put a pause on school. With work, I come home and my day is done. With school, I went to class all day and studied all night! It's hard, but you really just need to decide which priorities are more heavily weighted!
  6. Senior Member
    villanelle's Avatar
    villanelle is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    14,787
    #6
    My bestie has a PsyD. Make sure you are being very realistic about your employment and salary opportunities. She's had a heck of a time, and really isn't making great money at all. She's an adjunct at a few places, does some supervising of something I don't quite understand (some sort of students), and a few other things, in order to cobble together essentially full-time work. From the outside looking in, it doesn't seem like the time and cost of getting the doctoral degree were really all that worth it, as far as what she makes (especially when considering the additional loans she has) and the opportunities available.

    Also, if you do pursue the degree, it sounds like you'd want to get pregnant ASAP when you were done, so consider expiring licensure issues, and the fact that your degree will be a few years old, if you stay at home at all with your kiddo.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
  7. Senior Member
    Guynavywife's Avatar
    Guynavywife is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    19,303
    Blog Entries
    2
    #7
    I took 11 years off between undergrad (7 years) and law school. It was the best decision I made. I was not ready for more school once I graduated. The time off gave me a chance to work, and think about whether I really wanted to go back to school. It also allowed me to wait until I was ready to go back to school.
    I would definately take some time off between. Even if only 1 year.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
  8. Team Rocket
    rocket_lizz's Avatar
    rocket_lizz is offline
    Team Rocket
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    San Diego!!!
    Posts
    9,069
    #8
    I really desperately wanted my PhD a few years ago. Not really anymore I work at a university and the amount of ridiculous bureaucracy is amazing, especially for professors. I dunno about PsyD but a regular PhD has to post doc for years before finding a regular teaching position (not adjunct). We collaborate with a few faculty members from the psychiatry dept. on our research right now and all of them have seriously specialized skills, like genomics, clinical research, molecular biology, etc. I feel like it's likely that the intro-level classes you could teach without some sort of specialty probably have an abundance of people ready to teach them.
    Plus, isn't a PsyD much more of a clinical position? I always thought you were supposed to go PhD if you want the traditional academic route with teaching.
    WiggleWiggle~ is my Wifey

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •