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Thread: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

  1. #11
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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post
    So if your goal is to go to Canada (but it sounds like that isn't the case), going to school in Texas wouldn't give you a competitive advantage
    Could you give more details on the "by law" part? My goal is actually stay in Canada after the PhD but since there are fewer than 100 universities in Canada, I thought it would be more challenging comparing the Job Market in the US. On the other hand, considering Alberta's placements, it looks like Alberta has a very strong recognition (perhaps stronger than A&M) in Europe which would also my second choice after Canada for a faculty position.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by partyofnone View Post
    Two things.

    1. A&M is known for HR. They have good researchers there. You'll be fine there. Similar to many commenters on this thread I don't really know about Alberta which is a mildly negative sign.

    2. Weather, by god the weather. There's a reason that most of the population of Canada is on the coast or right along the southern border. Edmonton is neither. Do you really want to be cold for 5 years? College Station is personally far too warm for me, but I'd easily take it over Edmonton. You're talking an average 20-30 degree Fahrenheit difference. I'm not joking when I say that should be your #1 factor in deciding. While it isn't the most important per say, it is the factor with the largest difference.

    Edmonton - Wikipedia
    College Station, Texas - Wikipedia
    Actually, the fact that Alberta is not known much is my biggest concern at this point. I also totally agree with you on the weather aspect but considering PhD as an 4-5 years investment, I guess I have to consider university, program, faculty and research recognition more.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Yeah, you will notice the following sentence in every single job in Canada: All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

    So how this materializes is that search committees have to create two piles of applicants: Canadians and non-Canadians. Only if there are no qualified Canadians do they move on to the non-Canadians. It is kind of well known that there are 2-3 schools that don't strictly follow this (I am not going to say their names in a public forum, but it would be easy to guess by looking at the composition of faculty). But essentially every other school in Canada follows this pretty closely.

    So that will help get your foot in the door if you wanted to work in Canada, but you also have been really focused on brand recognition -- what about research fit? Do you see professors at both schools that fit what you are interested in? I think that is more important.


    Quote Originally Posted by f2019 View Post
    Could you give more details on the "by law" part? My goal is actually stay in Canada after the PhD but since there are fewer than 100 universities in Canada, I thought it would be more challenging comparing the Job Market in the US. On the other hand, considering Alberta's placements, it looks like Alberta has a very strong recognition (perhaps stronger than A&M) in Europe which would also my second choice after Canada for a faculty position.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrategicMGMT View Post
    So that will help get your foot in the door if you wanted to work in Canada, but you also have been really focused on brand recognition -- what about research fit? Do you see professors at both schools that fit what you are interested in? I think that is more important.
    I am trying to understand the importance of the brand recognition in Job Market since from the perspective of research fit these two programs are so close to each other (but if I have to say which program is slightly better in terms of research fit, I would say A&M). On the other hand,
    1) I want to live in Canada in long term (Which makes me close to Alberta)
    2) While Alberta faculty members try their best to help my decision by explaining the whole PhD process, clarifying the questions in my mind, etc; A&M professors are seem like they do not even care whether I join their program or not. (Which again makes me close to Alberta)

    This makes me feel that although the research fit is slightly better at A&M, I will not get enough attention from the professors. Besides, A&M has almost 2 times PhD students which also makes me think that I will need to compete with them to get the professors's attention in their limited time.

    Long story short, I would be so happy If someone convince me on either Alberta has a strong recognition in Canada/EU/US or the ranking or recognition of the university do not matter much.

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    Re: PhD in Canada vs. U.S. - which one to choose?

    It is clearly a difficult choice for you.

    It is my opinion that becoming Canadian will drastically increase your chances on the job market in Canada. But ultimately what will matter is how productive you can be in your PhD.

    You need to also weigh specific professors you'd like to work with at each school. Who's in their network? Canadian/EU professors? How well known are they (this IMO is just as important as the reputation of the school itself)

    Look, ultimately these are both good schools, and they will set up you for success, as long as you do your part and work hard in the PhD and set yourself up for success.

    Quote Originally Posted by f2019 View Post
    I am trying to understand the importance of the brand recognition in Job Market since from the perspective of research fit these two programs are so close to each other (but if I have to say which program is slightly better in terms of research fit, I would say A&M). On the other hand,
    1) I want to live in Canada in long term (Which makes me close to Alberta)
    2) While Alberta faculty members try their best to help my decision by explaining the whole PhD process, clarifying the questions in my mind, etc; A&M professors are seem like they do not even care whether I join their program or not. (Which again makes me close to Alberta)

    This makes me feel that although the research fit is slightly better at A&M, I will not get enough attention from the professors. Besides, A&M has almost 2 times PhD students which also makes me think that I will need to compete with them to get the professors's attention in their limited time.

    Long story short, I would be so happy If someone convince me on either Alberta has a strong recognition in Canada/EU/US or the ranking or recognition of the university do not matter much.

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