Advantages and disadvantages of a PhD title

Generally, and particularly in Australia

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il444
I will soon graduate from TUM with a Master of Computer Science degree. So now there is a difficult choice: to start working in the industry, or to do a PhD. I heard that in Germany a PhD title brings certain benefits.

How is it in English speaking countries, e.g. UK and Australia. Is it easier to find a good job if you are a PhD, will you get paid more?

Personally I would like to work in a company, yet performing research and development oriented activities.
Panama
start looking for a job!!
Scogs
there are pros and cons, I took mine over 25 years ago and it doesn't even appear on my CV any more, but when I started in my career it was high on the CV and got me at least 2 or 3 places up the ladder in jobs. down side you are older entering the jobs market
brokenm
I don't think that you should expect to be paid more, but after you work for a few years the road to management is much easier with the combination of title and experience. But the initial position will be hard to find.
Oleron
You could always get your PhD in Australia after a couple of years working. Going back to university for better qualifications seems quite popular there...
il444
That is true. Yet I really want to stay in Germany for 2-3 years before going somewhere else.
Small Town Boy
In Germany, people with PhDs are well-respected. In the UK, the "get a real job" attitude is more prevelant -- i.e. practical experience counts for more, and understandably so in my opinion.
interplanetjanet
You mentioned that you want to do research. For this reason, and this alone, I say get a PhD. Most research-oriented jobs aren't even available to those without PhDs. Of course, that probably depends to some degree on what field you're in and what country you're in, but that's my experience when seeking a job in California.
bucket06
In Australia, in computer science and engineering, a PhD is a waste of time in terms of improving your employment prospects. You are only depriving yourself of years of good income. People in private enterprise with PhDs pretty much do the same work as those with just degrees. The PhD may give you a higher starting income, but the income lost in doing the PhD is far greater. A few years industry experience is far more valued than a PhD.

Germans love PhDs because they are pretentious.

If you are academically inclined do the PhD.
il444
What about companies operating worldwide like IBM, Microsoft, Google, etc. Do they value the title or professional experience? Does it depend on the country you are working in?
Panama
well, here in Germany, companies like IBM take a lot more into account a degree, but that's a general trend of the local market. A degree is a lot more important for them than experience. I guess, in general it will always be the same for large companies as for what the local trend is. Unless all management is handled from abroad, which is rarely the case in developed countries.
sphinx
In Australia a PhD is necessary to lecture in the University system and helps with research, but beyond that I would say it is viewed with suspicion by companies...which is pretty sad. There will be exceptions, but not many. They will view a few years eperience much more positively. After a few years of experience going back and doing a MBA will help you get into management. Any higher qualification is questioned.
Dame Edna
I agree with Sphinx. A PhD without a number of good years of work experience will not help you in the Australian business world, as opposed to the German market where PhD's are necessary to move into the senior ranks of large companies. Ziggi Switkowski was an exception to the rule. (PhD in Nuclear Physics, and CEO of Optus, Telstra and Chairman/MD at Kodak Australia)
Yarra
Dr. titles are over-rated. In Australia you are judged on your experience and ability to perform not how many letters come after your name. But if you really are interested in research and want to do a PhD - then go for it. Perhaps you could find a company that would allow you to do a PhD part-time.
Roger H
Generally the PhD qualification is a big waste of time - at the end of the day the only people impressed by it are those who don't work in the same field (and some German companies)... The financial benefit in most countries is zero to negative if you compare a person with a PhD to someone with a Bachelors or Masters of the same age. However, some research divisions only hire people with PhDs so if you really want to be involved in research it might be a necesary evil. Unfortunately Engineering and Sciences at Universities tend to be 5 to 15 years behind company research due to a) the high expense of scientific research and the closely guarded development secrets. If you really want a PhD try and get a company to sponsor it and do it with them (I know Bosch and others offer this) that way you get a PhD and work experience. Personally, in hindsight I'd rather take the experience or than a PhD.
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