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Too old to do a PhD? And should it be public health or public policy if I want to get into int’l development?

Question by rhubbie: Too old to do a PhD? And should it be public health or public policy if I want to get into int’l development?
Hi there – does anyone have some advice? I have an MSc (earned in the UK) in International Politics, and while doing that, realized what I would love to do is get into global health policy, specifically around HIV/AIDS issues. 1) Do I need another degree if I have no developing country experience, but experience in grant writing at int’l development NGOs 2) I don’t have a head for science (epidemiology, etc.) – is a public policy degree with a thesis on health policy better for me? 3) Should I go for another masters or would a PhD be better? 4) Do I need to start now on a PhD if I’m going to do that? I’m 28 now, would be 29 if entered next year, but would prefer to wait a year to figure things out, so I would be 30-too old? I don’t really want to pursue a tenure-track academic position but would love to teach on an adjunct/associate basis at some point in the future. I also would like to get back to the UK to work in the future, and UK universities are keen to hire Americans…thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by gcason
Your age should not be a problem. Many people work for years before beginning a PhD program. The combination of academics and experience will make you more attractive to employers.

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One comment on “Too old to do a PhD? And should it be public health or public policy if I want to get into int’l development?

  • No — you are not too old. I started a PhD program in my mid-40s at UC-Berkeley and graduated just before turning 49. I’m not teaching at a major university.

    You should only get a PhD if you are driven to do research.

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