I am new to stackexchange. I don't want to say my countries if it's okay for anonymity.

TL;DR I plan to work while applying for a PhD. How much of my PhD application plans do I have to disclose?

My life story:

I was born in, can work in and am a citizen of country C (C for Current). After birth, I stayed in country C for about 10 years and then for financial difficulties moved to country P (P for Previous) where I am also a citizen because both my parents are citizens of country P.

After our financial difficulties decreased, we moved back to country C. At the time I was in the middle of my undergraduate studies so I was still studying in country P although my younger siblings already moved to country C to study. I also continued studying in country P for my master's degree which I finished this year.

My dilemma:

Now I am living in country C. I am planning to apply for a PhD program here in country C or in other countries. In line with this, I plan to take an exam sometime November or December. I might take another exam sometime March or April.

I also want to work while I am applying for PhD programs and then leave the job soon after I get accepted to a PhD program. I have already sent out resumes.

If I were asked where I see myself 5 years from now, do I have to disclose my PhD plans? I have already formulated an answer that is technically true but avoids disclosing my PhD plans, but if I don't disclose my PhD plans and then I have to ask for a day off to take an exam, what do I say?


You haven't said what your profession is, but many tech companies have programs that encourage employees to get advanced degrees that are of value to the company. This may take the form of being flexible about working hours, reimbursing tuition, or allowing a leave of absence when you're close enough to completion (typically just the last term,). They may want you to pick an area of research that is valuable to them, and they probably won't give you full time off until that last term, but they may be more helpful than you would expect.

So it's certainly worth asking prospective employers what their educational benefits are. Whether you want to tell them that you have specific PhD plans may be more debatable.

  1. You haven't been applied let alone been admitted to any PhD program. Until you have been admitted and you have accepted the admissions offer, you haven't got squat. It's useless to talk about planning to get a PhD until you have an offer of admission to work with. Otherwise, you're talking about how many chickens you'll have before they hatch.

  2. You'll apply for a PhD sometime in the future and you may have to pass some entry exams as part of your applications process. Ask for time off that you can compensate. And ask without disclosing any of the personal reasons why you want the time off. The personal reasons are your concern and business and no one else's.


A lot can depend on the type of job you are going to get. If I were you I would go for a casual type job just to earn money while I work out what I am doing etc,.

The reason I say this is because if you get a job in the industry and then leave to do a PHD you may burn some bridges in your locale. While casual jobs are par for the course for students. You can even do a night job and sidestep the whole issue.

Seasonal work is great money especially if there is a forest near you, I used to make more than most office managers back in my youth, just planting and spraying.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.