I am a field engineer II. I have 12 years of experience and I also have a master's degree. I am currently studying for a doctorate. Do you think I am up to the task of providing services as a consultant while I obtain my doctorate degree?

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What do you mean by studying for a doctorate? I would expect you to have a significant research-based component for a doctorate that would be difficult to have time for in addition to working full time. Especially if you are working in the field, which is typically more than a hard 40.

When I did my master's, a professor of mine told us in class about some people that tried to work and finish their dissertation - maybe one or two actually managed it, but the rest ended up bailing and kind of messing up their project due to scheduling issues. I don't think a lot of professors are amenable to a professional trying to do a PhD concurrently.

Also, why do you want to do a PhD?

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That depends on the PhD. If it is theoretical, then your professor is correct. If it is practical, many engineers opt to use their current project for thesis topic after getting permissions and approvals. The thesis publication to the public is put on hold in the system for 3 years after graduation

Consulting and PhD are not mutually exclusive. You can consult but the real question is can you make a living consulting.

Yes. It’s great to be both in industry and studying at the same time. The purpose of schooling is job prep. Don’t forget that in all the starry eyed new developments and advanced theory testing of college. Honestly getting a job after is harder than getting a job during studies.

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