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Can a Dissertation Topic Hurt Career Prospects?

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Summary: Working on a dissertation for your Ph.D.? Find out if it could hurt your employability.


Question: I’m a second-year Ph.D. student in economics. I intend to look for employment outside of academics. I fear that if my research topic is obscure, it will hurt my chances of securing a real-world position. How important is the dissertation topic?

Answer: Think of your dissertation as one great opportunity to distinguish yourself from other graduates in your field. A timely, relevant topic is leverage material.

If you can combine a passionate dissertation of your choosing with a topic in demand in the market, you can effectively negotiate an offer into a position that you’ll be excited about and are prepared to contribute to. If on the other hand, you are well networked and are not in need of a point of distinction to use as leverage, your topic may be a lesser consideration.

Can a Dissertation Topic Hurt Career Prospects? by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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