As a comment to my previous post, Steven wrote:
Any advice for someone that thought a Ph.D. in Computer Science was a good idea in 2004 that plan to graduate in 2010?
A fair question. I currently supervise two Ph.D. students in Computer Science. Hence, I have thought about the problem.
- Be prepared for the worst. No matter how good you are. I work for a non-prestigious school, and the last guy we hired—this winter—had three research grants, fifteen graduate students, 40 research articles… Few recent Ph.D. graduates can compete.
- Look for research jobs at unusual places. Widely advertised positions at prestigious places are only a small fraction of all jobs.
- Do not wait until you nearly have your Ph.D. in hand to look for jobs. Plan one or two years ahead.
- Random emails to professors are not useful. But a well-placed email can get you a job. Do not spam, but email.
- You may have some control about when you finish your Ph.D. Try to finish just in time to get a job, not sooner, not later.
- An industry job is always an option. Or start your own business. Be warned that getting back to academia may not be easy.
- There are good non-tenure-track positions. Do not fool yourself into thinking they lead to tenure.