To PhD or Not to PhD, That is the Question: Hosted by SSCS Women in Circuits

16 May @ 12:00 pm1:30 pm EDT
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Have you ever considered doing a PhD, or are currently a PhD student? Novices to the degree usually think of PhDs in rosy terms—imagining the respect/credibility one would get, working on cutting edge research, being awarded accolades, and being featured in magazines for one’s work! The reality is that the good parts come with some unspoken, surprising challenges; and depending on your career goals, you may have more success learning pertinent skills in the industry, and not even need a PhD.

PhD students get trained on being independent researchers, developing teaching skills, proposal-writing, and other professorship responsibilities, marketing/presenting one’s work, ideas for startups and visibility to research labs in the industry/government. On the other hand, one also encounters tangible challenges of uncertain funding, inadequate mentorship, lack of work-life balance boundaries, loneliness, depression, and adverse impact on health that comes with having to deal with these on one’s own. The last few years of a PhD often offer writer’s block and publication challenges, while dealing with pressure to graduate.

Good news—all challenges are surmountable—and we have put together a panel to discuss if PhD is a good fit for you, or if you’re already in deep, how to make the best use of your time as a PhD student and graduate.

Panelist Names/Affiliations

  • Xiaolin Lu, Fellow, TI
  • Pei-Yun Tsai (PhD), FE, Assist. Prof, NTHU
  • Maryam Dodangeh, EU, PhD Candidate, U Twente
  • Arun Natarajan (PhD), NA, Professor, OSU
  • Steven Callender (PhD), NA, Research Scientist, Intel Labs


  • Deeksha Lal, NA, RFIC Designer, pSemi
  • Awani Khodkumbhe, Current PhD, UC Berkeley



16 May
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EDT
Event Category:




Aeisha VanBuskirk