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Termination from PhD program and background check

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User

( 5 months ago )

I took a break from my STEM PhD a couple of years ago but now it is looking increasingly likely that I would be kicked off the PhD program for not having completed it on time. The past couple of years though I have been at home working on my own projects and doing some hourly consulting.

How is termination from a PhD viewed at the time of job interviews/offer? Does it show up in background check? Do I need to mention that I have been kicked out of the PhD program or should I say something like 'Discontinued PhD since 2014'?

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User

( 5 months ago )

Unless you're specifically applying for a job that requires a PhD (for example, academic research), then having discontinued a PhD on your CV shouldn't really have too much of a negative impact. Don't forget, you were sufficiently capable of being eligible to start a PhD, which is not something that everyone can claim.

Having said that, it's entirely up to you whether you include it on your CV. Personally I would, then if asked about it you can answer honestly what your reasons were for deferring then discontinuing. Unless it was for academic misconduct, simply stating that a PhD wasn't for you isn't normally a reason not to employ someone.

If it were me, I'd rather just be up front about it with a simple one line in your education section of your CV. You don't have to make a song and dance about it, if asked, answer honestly and leave it at that :)

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