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  #21  
Old 16.10.2011, 00:31
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

I thought that the age limit to start a PhD in Switzerland was 35 ??

edit. After this message, I found info on the net and there seems to be no age limit.
I'd suggest you check out the websites of the universities and polytechnicums, they have a lot of answers regarding doctoral and post-doctoral schools here.
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  #22  
Old 21.10.2011, 15:51
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

I know someone at the age of 50 thats doing a phd so there isn't a limit in most places
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  #23  
Old 21.10.2011, 16:33
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

Generally there is no age limit. Younger candidates often don't really know specifically why they may want to pursue a particular topic other than they liked it as an undergraduate, but they need to really understand themselves and why they want to scrutinise the same topic everyday for the next 4 years, and be motivated to succeed. It used to be said that anybody younger than late-20s simply hadn't experienced enough of the world to possibly be able to contribute meaningful science, and use the mature, forward thinking required, and often weren't taken seriously. Age, for mature candidates, is definitely a positive attribute for real researchers who will be able to stick it out and truly become an expert in their field.

If you know what you want to do, then go for it. You'll shine if you let yourself.
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  #24  
Old 25.11.2011, 02:35
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

This is Switzerland, of course there are age limits (written or unwritten). This ad has an age limit of 30:

http://www.jobup.ch/en/job/673222/ph...ion-in-finance

OK, it might not apply to all PhD programs, but evidently it does here.
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  #25  
Old 25.11.2011, 07:44
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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Hi,
Couldn't find any other areas to post this, so posting here.

If there is anyone doing a Ph.D. here, maybe they can help with my question.

I am considering applying for a Ph.D. position in ETH. I have completed my masters 10 years ago and I'll be 36 this March. Do you think they will be more inclined to accept younger candidates?

Thanks
Why ETH?

Based on what others have said about the Swiss schools being less drawn to "older" candidates, the blatant agism is a huge turn off.

So again, why ETH?

Why not try a different university, perhaps one in a country where agism is expressly illegal? like in the United States?
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  #26  
Old 25.11.2011, 09:38
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

As an external PhD, age is no issue. To get a position an "wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter" at a chair, it is, since doing a PhD is considered as a preparation for an academic carreer-whcih means you'll have to become full professor at 40 at the latest.
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  #27  
Old 25.11.2011, 09:44
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

I was having this conversation with a friend who said that for example, he wouldn't hire a 45 year old PhD student because he or she would be 50 or so when done, and it would be difficult for the student to find a job. In academia, anyway, once you hit the 50-55 age mark, you're not attractive in Switzerland because it can be an expensive proposition to fund your retirement if you have to play catch up. And in Switzerland, you have to retire at 65 - again in academia. This may change in the next few years, but so far not. So while there is ageism, I also think there's a certain amount of pragmatism to it.

I'm over 50 and I'm a PhD student, but in the US (on medical leave right now). If I go back next year, I'll be in my late 50's when I finish. I'm in an area where most of the entering PhD students have previous work experience and a Master's already and so the average age is 40. Of course the academic job market in the US is crap right now. There is more mobility, too because there isn't that 2nd pillar funding - no one will play catch up for you.

In the US, it depends on the field, too - I can see that physical science, math, medicine may be prejudiced toward younger scholars. Social sciences, statistics and even some engineering, probably business, public health will have more flexibility - areas where prior experience is often used - of course there are exceptions to everything.

Why am I doing a PhD at my age? Mostly for my own amusement. I had an interesting idea, and I probably will pick up some part time work later on, and no one has to worry about my retirement but me, unfortunately.
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  #28  
Old 25.11.2011, 10:31
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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Hi,
Couldn't find any other areas to post this, so posting here.

If there is anyone doing a Ph.D. here, maybe they can help with my question.

I am considering applying for a Ph.D. position in ETH. I have completed my masters 10 years ago and I'll be 36 this March. Do you think they will be more inclined to accept younger candidates?

Thanks
My godmother back in blighty completed her PhD when she was 68. This was all the more remarakable seeing she did it in the domain of animal behaviour and was climbing trees to fit cameras to bird's nests. She had been a lab assistant most of her life though and had helped hundreds of younger students with their resaerch so on her retirement she was able to convince her prof to let her have a go by herself.
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  #29  
Old 25.11.2011, 10:35
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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Not everyone wants to go "to the top of the tree", how is that any less a vanity trip than having a PhD? I did mine as it had always been a personal goal, it taught me techniques and ideas, and provided me with a sound scientific knowledge which I have been able call upon in subsequent professions.
It depends on the field.

I think in Chemsitry for example having a PhD is important. However, in engineering (like me) it's just a nice to have thing and I see no correlation between PhDs and career paths in the people around me. Having a PhD doesn't necessarily get you more pay either. People who do it, do so more for the personal challenge. Of course the pay you get at the ETH isn't that bad either. I actually quit my first job in industry to come back for my PhD and gained by it financially. Not only was the pay betetr in real terms (if only marginally) but I was benefitting from lots of the free and or reduced price student stuff (canteen, sports facilities etc).
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  #30  
Old 29.11.2011, 08:44
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

Hi, I am 27 now and I want to apply for PhD in Life Science. What do you think – it is not late for me?

Alex,
Russia
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  #31  
Old 29.11.2011, 08:56
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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Hi, I am 27 now and I want to apply for PhD in Life Science. What do you think – it is not late for me?

Alex,
Russia
Nope..............
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  #32  
Old 29.11.2011, 09:10
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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Apart from vanity, what use will it be for you? If you aren't well on the way to the top of the tree, it's not going to happen
what do you think people told Steve Jobs when he dropped out of college...?
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  #33  
Old 29.11.2011, 09:38
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

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what do you think people told Steve Jobs when he dropped out of college...?
Successful college drop outs are the exception to the rule
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  #34  
Old 29.11.2011, 21:52
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Re: Ph.D. Is there an age limit?

Agree successful college dropouts are the exception the rule, but mostly this is because the recognized and established professions e.g. accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc require you to not be a college drop-out in order to join their club.

It is easier therefore to be a successful college drop-out in obtuse fields such as IT - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. I sure people have more examples of such industries.

Back to the question - Ph.D is there an age limit - reading the posts it seems that the answer is - unofficially yes (depending on the field, and the end use), but it is still possible to find "exceptions to the rule". So go for it!
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