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About to graduate, do further studies or jump into the business?

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JohnFuture

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Feb 4, 2018
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I would like to share my experience with you guys and see your opinions.

I am about to finish my IT degree and my supervisor asked me if I want to go further and do PhD in the IT industry.

I did say to him that I would like to build a business instead, so I can make a bigger impact in people lives. Nevertheless, both research and business can make an impact. I understand.

Then he explained further that if I take 3 years of research, I could learn the technology to the smallest detail and be prepared once I finish the research. He also did mention that he had some people in his experience that managed to set up IT business while doing research.

Thus, there are two paths:
1. research and then business
2. or just business

I understand that I can only know and choose, but what do you think what would be the best path?

To do research and then jump into the business?
Or graduate and work in the business and learn from actual work by building up the business?
 

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Knugs

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I think they have only scholarships in the UK with otherwise no salary.
This also hugely depends on what your PhD is actually about and what kind of business you want to do.
How much time your PhD will consume = I have seen polar opposites. My brother was 9-5 at University and then I knew a girl who had no schedule (law)

And then you can always drop out of the program.
 

ZF Lee

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To do research and then jump into the business?
Or graduate and work in the business and learn from actual work by building up the business?
The latter.

In an academic environment, you don't get to see the whole orchestra of actual selling and product delivery.

I used to have some lecturers that talked on that before. They took Masters, but still within academics.
 

JohnFuture

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ZF lee - I see the point, I believe the PhD is for the future lecturers, that's what I have seen so far. Also, I spoke with some of the PhD students and they have keen interest to do lectures once they finish the research. That's not what I am into. I would like to do business instead, thus I could help more people in that way. Just these thoughts.

jasoncuellar123 - I would get something around £1300 per month + paid tuition fees.
 

Knugs

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1300 is decent when living outside london. You can live on that for sure!

Any ideas about the topic of the PhD?
 

JohnFuture

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IoT most likely (smart home and similar).
I understand that you can live on that, but realise that all the time and effort will go into the research (but not the marketing one)
 

Knugs

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What funds do you have to live off? If you don't have much in the bank then you wont be able to pay for the basic necessities. Your business might suffer because of the pressure and need to make profit. Your business might not be able to grow properly because you have to balance your expenses correctly.

The other day I read a few comments here where people complained about quitting their job too soon. It exerted too much pressure on them and both their business and personal life were suffering.

It all depends on your circumstances. If your venture and time invested yields immediate profit then you could argue that its in the best interest to focus only on the business. If your venture focus is on creating a system but requires x-months to be developed and y-months to make a healthy profit then how will you maintain your life in the meantime?
 

Bon Appetit

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imo you don't need to know "the technology to the smallest detail and be prepared once you finish the research" to start a business. Knowing the technical aspects in your business is not mandatory since you can hire people for this or outsource this competence. As an entrepreneur I believe that you need to dedicated your time in building your business, which means work ON it and not work IN it.

One more thing, try to put yourself in your supervisor's shoes, I think he has all reasons to try to convince you to go for a PhD with him (he knows you and this familiarity is helpful for his work, if he had to pay you it won't cost much, if you leave it's gonna leave a hole difficult to fill in). So I won't give too much credit to his argumentation.

3 years of more specific knowledge won't give you much help to start a business, and if he is willing to help, you don't need to do the PhD for him to help you with his network.
 

ZCP

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Consider doing both until one takes over.

If you have no income, you will need a job anyway. Might as well also have access to the school resources and contacts.
 

MJ DeMarco

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