Is there anyone who has completed a PHD while doing consulting full time? I have been working in healthcare consulting for last 10 years but always wanted to teach and feel that dream is (contd)

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In parallel to your partner track, I‘d say it’s extremely difficult to impossible, if you want a ‚real‘ PhD (including meaningful publications etc). I took 3 years sabbatical to pursue my PhD. Could have done a bit quicker, but not on addition to a full time job, especially in consulting. But: you don’t need a PhD to teach. Especially with interesting industry experience, you can be a (guest) lecturer in addition to your job. PhD is for research, not teaching. Scientists don’t necessarily make the best teachers. Students love insights from experienced professionals with some teaching aptitude. Reach out to your network - perhaps you already know people who teach. Give guest lectures and from there perhaps take over a whole course or two. You primarily need to get started.

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Slipping away. I can’t see myself doing this all my life and don’t have the courage to just quit. I am already at a Sr. level and will be a partner in 2-3 years. Any advice on how I can still somehow teach and slowly build up my profile so that I can focus on teaching when I am 45 (currently in early 30s). Also only have an undergraduate degree.

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Will be finishing up a PhD in the next couple years that I've done while at Booz Allen, but most of my advice has already been shared by others. Start somewhere for lectures, see if you can teach a summer course or an online course at a local university. You don't need a PhD to teach unless you're unwilling to teach undergrad or less rigorous Master's programs like the 1-year programs or other formats that don't have a serious research requirement. A Master's will definitely help, but a PhD is probably unnecessary unless you want to teach in an advanced MA program, which is absolutely feasible with your expertise, or you want to teach future PhDs, which may be less realistic if you don't have research experience that parallels your consulting experience since that's who'd you compete against for most (of course the are exceptions) of those jobs.

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My project allows one TW day per week so I used that flexibility for classes. There were some semesters where I could find two relevant classes on the same day and some where I could only take one class during the semester because what I needed was too spread out. I usually got in about 3 courses per year, which matched dup well with the firm's education benefit so I didn't have to pay out of pocket. Most of the team took their TW day on a Monday or Friday but they were flexible with me about when I needed to take mine and the fact that it shifted every semester. It was honestly a bit easier to accommodate classes than it has been in the dissertation phase just because now there is more discipline required because it is not just showing up at a certain time and doing smaller assignments with shorter deadlines. I've always done additional research on the side though and haven't had issues with that.

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I tried.. I even had full ride. All expenses paid. Life got in the way more than the job, but sure it can be done (getting there PhD while consulting FT). If your dream is to teach, maybe start networking with the universities? I’ve done a few lectures, and those opps were really born out of volunteering time.. but eventually led to paid work on occasion/with research assignments

Perhaps you can consider building up more industry/business experience and pursue an adjunct professorship / lecturer position in the future? Or teaching opportunities in other capacities, eg, test prep, career coaching, etc. In any case, I don’t think getting a PhD is the only / best way to be able to teach in your position...

It really depends on the field. Some fields have practitioners without terminal degrees who teach classes (business, journalism, marketing, art). I’m a PhD dropout at ZS and trust me, ZS treats me 100x better than the academy and for 3x the salary. Feel free to DM if you’re still curious.

It also it comes down to when you want to teach and at what level. If you want tenure (min 6-7 years), you would need to get a PhD (4+). During this time frame you have to teach AND research while getting a lot of publications out. I'm personally thinking about teaching as a lecturer at a university as a retirement career. 57k a year is half of what I'm making now.

Thanks all for the great advice! This is really helpful and it seems I need to think through more on whether I really need the PHD or not. I am in India so not sure how I can go about directly reaching out to professors and start teaching but will definitely explore. Thanks again 🙂

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