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Thread: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

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    Canadian vs American Business PhD program

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    Hi all,

    I have been a long time lurker in this forum and would like to first thank all the great posters who post here regularly and have whose contributions have added immensely to my own understanding of the PhD process.

    Do pardon me if this topic has come up before but i couldn't find it and so am creating a thread on this. I will be grateful if the posters here can share their knowledge.

    I am actually targeting Canadian PhD business programs (although i know a lot more about US PhD programs) due to personal reasons. I am in my mid 30s with a family so I am targeting the mid tier programs (i.e. programs not in UofT, UBC, U of Alberta, Queens, York). I have had a fair bit of industry experience but since my MBA days I have wanted to be a B-School professor. Do my own research and teach on the side. The life appealed to me. And yes, i know i am going into poverty (I have a well paying job right now) and taking my family with me (i will probably burn my savings) but it really is something I want to do for the rest of my life. I really don't enjoy industry that much and academia is where my heart lies (or so i have always believed). Also i am not necessarily looking to stay back in Canada after my Phd but probably will go back to my home country (it is an Asian country) to join academia.

    My questions are as follows

    1) How do the Canadian programs compare to US programs in terms of research quality?

    2) How do the programs differ in terms of workload (course work in the first 2 years, research opportunities, etc).

    3) Do PhD students get time off like vacations (usually 2-3 weeks in industry). How do things work on the personal front)

    4) Any other insight or piece of advice that individuals can share on their experience regarding a business PhD in Canada.

    I would be grateful for any insights or comments from the posters here.

    Thank You

    Akpal

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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    Check UT Dallas for rankings. I wouldn't necessarily self-select out of the top programs right off the bat. I know people at Ivey, UBC, Rotman who all do top notch work. Vacations usually depend on your advisor to be honest, but I wouldn't work with anyone who didn't give a couple weeks off a year.

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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    There aren't that many programs in Canada, so you may as well apply to all of them. I actually interviewed for a job at one of the schools that would be on your list. The faculty was smaller than my PhD school, but they still publish in top journals. They just also publish in lower tier journals. I was under the impression that they teach students to publish high, but realistically expect placements at places that care about more than 3 or 5 journals. So, the training is similar to us schools ranked 50+ probably.

    Time off as a phd student is a different concept. You get the normal school breaks and you can take them, but you will always have more to do. I think it is good to schedule some vacation time, but not as much as you can. It's a lot like being an entrepreneur. You have lots of flexibility, but you are accountable for your results.

    Nothing more, but ask questions.

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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    thank you folks, i didn't notice that my thread finally got posted here.

    Can you please explain what you mean by this?

    "Time off as a phd student is a different concept. You get the normal school breaks and you can take them, but you will always have more to do. I think it is good to schedule some vacation time, but not as much as you can. It's a lot like being an entrepreneur. You have lots of flexibility, but you are accountable for your results."

    Also, I have zero publication experience. How hard is to publish in a mid tier journal (I am assuming i can't be publishing in top journals starting off from my phd)

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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    At least from my experience so far, it's something like this:

    You get school breaks. But usually, you are expected to have accomplished something (or actually a lot of things) by the time the school breaks end. That means you will have to use at least part of your vacation time to do what you are expected to do (maybe learning about a statistical software by yourself, writing your research project, reading lots of papers to generate research ideas, looking for sources of data). It is up to you how you do it, when you do it, where you do it, for how long you do it, how good you want to do. So, you have a lot of freedom, a lot of flexibility. But you also must use that with a lot of responsibility. And if you want to get really good results, you will use a lot of your "vacation" studying and researching.

    About publishing, I suggest waiting for suggestions from your advisor about a strategy for that. Maybe your advisor doesn't want you thinking about publishing when you are just starting off. Maybe your advisor wants you to get involved in a research that already started. It's usually hard to publish in any good journal, but that depends on how much support you get.

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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    thanks Brazilian Phd, this is very helpful.

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: Canadian vs American Business PhD program

    Thanks, Braz. That is exactly what I meant.

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