As I was going through my drafts, I found this half-answered Q&A post that I never properly finished. I last touched it in 2015, but think it’s still a question worth addressing.
Before I get to the question and my answer, I wanted to give a bit of background here. I was an assistant professor at USFQ from 2013 to 2016. At TU Delft, I’ve been a tenured assistant professor since 2019. I will speak from both perspectives in my answer.
My name is XX and i am from INDIA. i wish to go for Phd in Management. Currently i ahve completed MBA and BBA in marketing.
My question is how is your experience as a Assistant professor ? I too wish to join as assistant professor in a Indian college and later when oppurtunity comes also will join a University in foreign country.
Being into teaching, how would you rate your satisfaction level. Better than corporate sector ?
And what about earnings, because here in India we only start with around $390 salary!!
Is it really worth going for PhD and does that have a major impact on salary.
Note that this time I did not edit out the country, to give context to the question and the salary that is mentioned.
Let’s look at this question in more detail.
Q: My question is how is your experience as a Assistant professor ?
A: My experience as an assistant professor at USFQ was a teaching-heavy experience. I started by teaching 3 courses per semester, often teaching new courses each semester. It was quite a lot of work, and it took me some time to learn how to plan my time for the large number of responsibilities that I got to deal with. The change from my PhD, where I had to focus on just my research, to combining two jobs (USFQ and TU Delft) was quite large. I wrote about my main insights, and how I started to plan my time.
My experience in Delft has been different. First of all, because of my part-time status there, my teaching requirements are less. And secondly, I had already learned the ropes, so it was less of a large adjustment. Moving into the role of assistant professor there simply felt like a continuation of what I had been doing before.
Q: Being into teaching, how would you rate your satisfaction level. Better than corporate sector ?
Well, it’s hard to compare! My corporate experience is only in relatively small design offices. What I can say as the difference is that an academic career feels more fulfilling to me, as it allows for greater creativity, and I get to decide what I want to be working on. The flipside of the medal is that, since I’m pursuing my interests, it’s easy to get fully absorbed. And, in addition, the demands in academia are very high, so it’s easy to fall to a thinking pattern that we always have to do more, perform better, write another paper, and get another grant.
Q: And what about earnings, because here in India we only start with around $390 salary!!
The salaries in the Netherlands are the same for all universities, and you can consult these here. In Ecuador, there is more variety in salaries, and it comes down to personal negotiation.
Q: Is it really worth going for PhD and does that have a major impact on salary.
Let me turn this question back to you here: what do you want to get out of your PhD experience? If you’re doing it to become a professor or to earn more money, then you’ll find down the line that your chances or becoming a full professor are very small, and that you would properly get better earnings in the industry. If, however, you think the experience is something that would make you happy, fulfill your curiosity, and help you to achieve valuable skills, then you are keeping your options for the future open.