If you are already working, and wish to pursue a PHD, the question of whether you can go to school part time is an appropriate one. You must understand that part-time study is not easy, and most PhD students and post-grads warn you against it. In addition to being inconvenient and unsustainable, a part-time PhD may not result in a PhD at all.
One of the main problems with working full time and taking on a PhD program is the lack of time. While a “9-to-5” job allows you to leave work behind when you get home, you are free to spend your time with family or friends. When you are working a PhD program, however, you work as long as you can in order to complete the coursework. This can mean staying up until 1 a.m. and sometimes working weekends too. You still have to analyze data, and conduct literature searches.
The counterfactual to a PhD is to spend five or six years in a different career. This might be a new career, or a non-PhD skill set. In some instances, you may get paid for these other pursuits, but the opportunity cost of a PhD is greater for people over 40. The same is true for the other extreme. If you are considering a PhD, make sure it meets your personal goals.
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