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Thread: 2020 Sweat Thread

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by askangbuzz View Post
    I’ve applied to 17 places. Totally broke after the application... have you considered a full time RA position if things are really that bad? That’s what my professor advised me to do... but hopefully we can all get into the program we want!
    Yes, it's certainly not a cheap process... I can see why it would make sense to look at RA positions if you wanted to reapply to similar PhD programs the following year, but I don't think it's what I'm planning to do. I live in the UK and if I don't get into a US program this time around then I don't think I'll try again for the US - if I get onto a UK MSc program instead (which I don't believe is particularly difficult outside of the top 5) then I would plan on carrying on to do a PhD in the UK instead, maybe with a year or two working in between. But the PhD itself in the UK is typically only 3 years rather than 5 (and requires an MSc in Economics as well), and I think that waiting another year to then go on to apply to more 5-year programs would be too much of a long haul for me.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LJS View Post
    Yes, it's certainly not a cheap process... I can see why it would make sense to look at RA positions if you wanted to reapply to similar PhD programs the following year, but I don't think it's what I'm planning to do. I live in the UK and if I don't get into a US program this time around then I don't think I'll try again for the US - if I get onto a UK MSc program instead (which I don't believe is particularly difficult outside of the top 5) then I would plan on carrying on to do a PhD in the UK instead, maybe with a year or two working in between. But the PhD itself in the UK is typically only 3 years rather than 5 (and requires an MSc in Economics as well), and I think that waiting another year to then go on to apply to more 5-year programs would be too much of a long haul for me.
    I also studied in the UK for undergrad & masters! Do you think applicants from the UK are slightly disadvantaged when it comes to Maths background? Because UK undergrad programs typically do not give you a lot of opportunities to choose courses from outside of your department (studying something like Real Analysis) so we only study Maths which is part of the Economics program?

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    I applied to 20 places among the top 25 in US. My plan B is applying to a Master in Europe, but from some comments above I'm wondering if there are RA opportunities at US for foreigners. Seems like a good plan to get better LoRs.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by luismf08 View Post
    I applied to 20 places among the top 25 in US. My plan B is applying to a Master in Europe, but from some comments above I'm wondering if there are RA opportunities at US for foreigners. Seems like a good plan to get better LoRs.
    Itís definitely feasible if you are doing your undergrad/master in the US. I know a friend who is doing his RAship at MIT on OPT.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    I'm in industry (econ consulting) and applying this cycle. A few of my coworkers who also wanted to do PhDs quit last year to take RA positions, specifically for the LoR angle. It meant enough to them to take a massive (more than 50%) pay cut.

    On my end, I figured the recs I got from undergrad and my boss here would be enough. Maybe the RA position would get me into a marginally better place, but it wasn't worth the huge pay cut to me. I guess we'll see how my results turn out compared to my ex-coworkers.

    For reference, I applied to 20 or so top 30 US schools.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by askangbuzz View Post
    Itís definitely feasible if you are doing your undergrad/master in the US. I know a friend who is doing his RAship at MIT on OPT.
    Oh I see, this information is helpful for someone in that situation. In my case, I did my undergrad degrees outside US so I will look for information. If I find something, I'll let you know.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Stanford applicants:

    Stanford’s Economics Department is admitting this year’s PhD applicants in two waves of roughly equal sizes. For our department to participate in the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program – a prestigious Stanford scholarship to which some PhD applicants also apply – we identify some admits very early. Remaining applicants are admitted during a second, normal wave of admissions. These two waves create a rolling admissions process that is compatible with Stanford’s Knight-Hennessy timeline. The decision date for all admitted students (both waves) remains April 15.

    https://economics.stanford.edu/graduate/applying-stanford

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by econ2020 View Post
    I also studied in the UK for undergrad & masters! Do you think applicants from the UK are slightly disadvantaged when it comes to Maths background? Because UK undergrad programs typically do not give you a lot of opportunities to choose courses from outside of your department (studying something like Real Analysis) so we only study Maths which is part of the Economics program?
    I can't really comment from first hand experience as my undergraduate degree was in theoretical physics which necessarily contained lots of maths classes, but in general it does sound like there are more opportunities to take extra maths classes in the US with the way their degrees are structured. The same is also true to a lesser extent in Scotland, undergraduate degrees are a year long there than in England but 1/3rd of your courses in the first two years can be from any subject area.

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TenukiMario View Post
    I'm in industry (econ consulting) and applying this cycle. A few of my coworkers who also wanted to do PhDs quit last year to take RA positions, specifically for the LoR angle. It meant enough to them to take a massive (more than 50%) pay cut.

    On my end, I figured the recs I got from undergrad and my boss here would be enough. Maybe the RA position would get me into a marginally better place, but it wasn't worth the huge pay cut to me. I guess we'll see how my results turn out compared to my ex-coworkers.

    For reference, I applied to 20 or so top 30 US schools.
    May I ask why you want to quit industry and do a PhD? Opportunity cost seems high if seeking industry employment after the phd. If you can get into a top phd program , maybe a top mba program is also feasible? Or do you want to be a professor? Just curious

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    Re: 2020 Sweat Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by askangbuzz View Post
    May I ask why you want to quit industry and do a PhD? Opportunity cost seems high if seeking industry employment after the phd. If you can get into a top phd program , maybe a top mba program is also feasible? Or do you want to be a professor? Just curious
    You hit on the main reason - I want to do academia.

    More broadly, I'm just a bit bored with the consulting work and the fairly long promotion time frame. I could stick around at my firm for the next 6 years instead of doing a PhD, but I would end up at the same level as being hired out of PhD, making less, with not much opportunity for advancement after that. Sure, I lose 6 years at 100K+, but I think I would die if I had to spend 6 more years making Excel charts instead of 6 years actually getting smarter, studying things I'm interested in, etc. I'm not obsessed with money - just having a comfortable, interesting, and fulfilling life is good enough for me.

    As for post-PhD opportunities, I do realize it's very hard to get a good academic job. For that reason, I'm completely OK with a career in industry after PhD. But having a PhD seriously improves your industry options. It gives you a bit of a restart, it increases your starting and max salary, and it allows you to eventually become a testifying expert or something similar eventually. Can't really do that without the degree.

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