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Thread: Prospects for an older candidate

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    Prospects for an older candidate

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    I'm in my mid-thirties and considering a Business PhD. I see that there are a number of older candidates on these forums and will like to get some advice and thoughts regarding career prospects after the PhD. Is it significantly harder for people like us to get tenure track faculty positions at decent schools? Or do we have to be more realistic and perhaps accept term contracts at schools that are teaching focused?

    I recently attended a scholarship info session at a business school in Asia. This school is handing out scholarships for promising local students to pursue an overseas PhD, before returning to take on a tenure track position. The Vice Dean was rather blunt in signalling the fact that they were looking for candidates below 30, and even specifically stated that you can't be mid-thirties when you start the PhD since you will be 40 by the time you start on your tenure track. Being a mid-thirties guy myself, that really smarted.

    I'm wondering if such ageism is prevalent across schools, and if so, what are the post-PhD plans of all you older candidates out there?

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    Re: Prospects for an older candidate

    I am almost 38 and I have just embarked on my PhD journey here in Europe. Personally, my view is that, quality speaks for itself. Publish in the relevant journals and there is no way schools will reject you based on age. My primary motivation is research and not so much on teaching.

    Please don't let others (even if it is the Vice Dean of a school) tell what you can and can't do. If one is good enough to get into a PhD program, they can get good placements too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffs View Post
    I'm wondering if such ageism is prevalent across schools, and if so, what are the post-PhD plans of all you older candidates out there?
    Last edited by PobleNou; 09-09-2017 at 09:19 PM.

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    Re: Prospects for an older candidate

    I also just started, and I don't know if there is significant ageism. I know that there are many of us, older people, doing a PhD in Business.

    My way of thinking is something like this: I'll try to do my best during the next years, and then see what kind of opportunities seem to be realistic for me after I get my PhD. I'd love to get a tenure track position at a great school, but I have to keep my mind open to other alternatives. And, really, I think that's the way to think for candidates in general, younger and older.

    Even if there is ageism, I don't believe it is present everywhere. I don't think my age is a problem in my country for that kind of position, for example.

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    Re: Prospects for an older candidate

    The type of ageism that you saw is not representative of the field as a whole. At least I hope that it isn't. I know that some profs view older candidates a little more negatively than younger ones, but honestly you don't want to be at a school that is like that anyway. There is a real concern about the type of position you will receive post graduation. That's not unfair. Your academic timeline will be shorter. By the way mid 30s isn't that old (it's where I'm at).

    The thing is that you will receive some negative feedback based on your age. Don't listen to it and keep on pushing through. You'll have more experience in the classroom than your colleagues and that is a big deal for students. Take what you know and use it to your advantage. Good luck and let us know how it went.
    Til now I always got by on my own
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