Continue Studying or Start Working?

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A friend who was in a dilemma has recently contacted me. She didn’t know whether to continue studying for a Ph.D or start working.  “I’m really tired of studying” she explained.

I actually understand how burnt-out students can be after studying for 17 years straight. Nonetheless, I also know that working can be even more difficult and challenging. Actually, and from my own experience, I’ve come to notice that work, especially in a field as challenging as teaching, can be a lot more demanding and nerve-racking than studying.

Therefore, I felt I wasn’t in a good position to give any piece of advice on the spot. That’s why I’ve been thinking of my friend’s situation since she mentioned it. And honestly, the more I thought about it, the more convinced of the importance of studying over getting a job I got, especially for her case where she has her family’s support.

Now, I think that I have come to a clearer vision of what should be done in such a situation. Hereafter, I advance some of the reasons why I think that continuing is a much wiser decision than getting a job.

  • Getting a job is not going on a picnic:

My friend wants to become a teacher. Being a teacher myself, I just happen to have tasted the pain of this profession. Therefore, I know that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs out there. It’s not as easy as many people imagine. We don’t get holidays all year long. We can’t not show up whenever we want. We don’t get paid when we’re on strikes (Contrary to the myth everyone seems to believe), we have the biggest responsibility in the world; EDUCATING THE NATION! We have very tight schedules and we have to deal with every kid his/her way. We’re supposed to be educators, parents, psychologists, actors…briefly, we’re supposed to be everyone else! And this is just a glimpse of the challenges teachers face on a daily basis. Still think we’re over-paid?

  • Nothing beats a PhD:

As far as I’m concerned, I think that getting  a Ph.D. degree, or any degree higher than the one one is currently holding, is the best thing that can happen to anyone. Of course there are many good things in life, but  progressing in one’s studies has a special taste and flavor to it. The sense of fulfillment and the boost in self-esteem are actually valuable assets in anyone’s life. I’m not saying people will exclusively be happy if they get high degrees, but this is undoubtedly one of the things that would contribute to making me a happier person. Moreover, the opportunities one can get after getting a PhD are far more important and promising than those a person without a high degree can get. Think of all the job positions you’d fit for as your employability increases significantly if you are a PhD holder.

  • Pain is better than regret:

Getting a PhD is PAINFUL. However, as a person who’s dying to continue his studies but can’t BECAUSE of his job. All I can say is that stopping one’s studies for the sake of a work position when you’re not financially dependent on that job is an “intellectual suicide.” Why would anyone ruin their future for a career that they may or may not like? Why take the risk of stopping one’s progress for a low salary? If you get a job and can’t continue your studies, regret will be ravenously eating you inside! Don’t fall for this trap!

All in all, these are just some reasons why I think people should opt for a PhD if they can. I thought I’d get a job to secure a living and then continue my studies. However, the government and universities made it almost impossible for teachers to continue our studies. Now I do regret not having continued my studies and I’d do anything to undo this mistake. Anyone got a time machine, please?

12 thoughts on “Continue Studying or Start Working?

    Lynne Diligent said:
    July 6, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I think this is excellent advice for her situation and for the country she lives in. If someone were in America, however, I’d advise them to get some work experience and then go back for the PhD after a couple years.

      amseghir responded:
      July 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks. The problem in Morocco is that when you get a job you need to stick to it. The chances you’d be given a second chance are very VERY small!
      Thanks, Lynne.

    Taoufik said:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Amazing blog .. Bravo dear Co Admin Brother Colleague Abdelmjid .. I really like . I will share wide .. BINGO!!

      amseghir responded:
      July 7, 2013 at 12:30 am

      Thank you very much! I appreciate your support!!
      You’re the best!

    Marwa said:
    July 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Reading it and rereading it and just can’t stop it….
    It is really amazing, convincing….you let me live your experience and anticipating my future.
    thank you is not enough to express how much i’m indebted to you
    A bunch of thanks dear Abdelmajid.

      amseghir responded:
      July 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      You’re welcome, Marwa. My pleasure.
      I’m really glad you liked it 🙂

    nabil said:
    July 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I do appreciate your thoughts for the article. The future kills Moroccans and makes them think very restrictly. they are afraid to have a job..they always look for a steady job and alienated to work in the private institutions. We need to change so as to shift from the bleak future we will encounter…Thank you so much for your inspiration and motivation

      amseghir responded:
      July 8, 2013 at 1:27 am

      Thank you very much, Nabil. I’m glad this article speaks to you. 🙂

    mohammed1abdallah said:
    August 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

    This article may, to a certain extent, ease the anxiety one faces when thinking about their future. I am still a B.A student, and pursuing my studies has been my main concern, although the need of a job is of a gigantic importance – for me, at least. I have a question that is directed to anyone capable of answering it accurately; does an M.A student face the same stumbling blocks a B.A student faces if they ever want to continue their studies. Put differently, is there a PhD-getting-a-job crossroads; Can one not do them both? Enlighten my ignorance, ladies and gentlemen!

      amseghir responded:
      August 6, 2013 at 1:47 am

      Hi Mohammed,
      Dilemmas are everywhere and anywhere. If you want to get a job and continue your studies, that’s fine. But if you’re planning on becoming a teacher, then you’ll have to forget about your studies for at least one year, until you finish your training.
      Good luck 🙂

        mohammed1abdallah said:
        August 6, 2013 at 2:05 am

        One year is not too much, I guess. I was afraid that I would encounter the same obstacle that a B.A-holder teacher has lately encountered, which is the deprivation of applying for an M.A program. I wish you – and for teachers who want to pursue their studies – the best of luck. Thank you!

          amseghir responded:
          August 6, 2013 at 2:07 am

          Well, that might be the case for an M.A holder, too. The good thing about a PhD is that you’re not required to attend daily, and that there are no exams.

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