Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interested in business school PhD programs?


Interested in business school PhD programs? I sat with a leading business school prof and asked him for his thoughts (listed some notes from the conversation below).

For some context, this professor finished his PhD about 5 years ago, and is about 3-4 years from reaching tenure in an institution that is research-focused.

Ultimately, he recommends the PhD route if you like long hours of analyzing data, re-writing papers, research, and occasional teaching.

For most professions, staying in industry is probably more lucrative. In terms of specific Business PhD programs, the demand characteristics of accounting PhDs in the job market alone requires exploring the program.

Phd offers a choice to make a difference (e.g. there are opportunities such as starting a business program overseas).
Teaching is mostly good.

You need to think about the PhD in terms of a 15 year investment, 6 years getting a PhD, 9 years getting tenure.

Professor is working 6 days a week.  Lifestyle is tough, you are spending a majority of the time performing analysis, rewriting papers. Typically, business school professors don't have to worry about raising money/funding.

A professor's life is a bit entrepreneurial, you have a lot of independence, and you are responsible for your success. Top 5 business prof salary is about 160k, accounting is about 200k. In academics,  you are making 60% of what you will make in industry, these industries (business, computer science, medicine) income is mark to market.

If you don't have accounting or finance work experience, think about starting some research or accounting work. As an alternative to business PhD programs, consider data science jobs at LinkedIn, Facebook, Google.

One cautionary thought:
What will be the state of business school in 20 years? What will happen to mid-tier universities with the advent of virtual academic institutions such as Khan Academy or Coursea?

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