Anti-Patterns for an Industrial PhD in the Field of ICT
Jaakkola, Hannu; Mikkonen, Tommi; Systä, Kari (2020-10)
10 / 2020
Frontiers in Education 2020 – Education for a Sustainable Future (FIE 2020) - Proceedings
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
PhD programmes run by universities are planned for the needs of full-time students who have funding for the study period and an opportunity to work full time as a member of the academic community. This approach aims at following the optimal way to the goals set by the State and the university for these studies - young students, immediate continuation after MSc graduation, with membership in the university's PhD programme ensuring progress. We call these students 'administrative optimal' PhDs. However, universities also have a number of postgraduate students that work in industry. These students work full time, have significant and useful experience from practice, but have more limited resources to use for PhD-related activities. This paper reports on the challenges related to PhD students working in industry based on experiences from the field of ICT; the root cause of which is the missing support provided by the university, which focuses on 'administrative optimal' students in their PhD programmes. The paper focuses on ICT field, because it is our experience base. We believe that in ICT area it is more common to work simultaneously to studies. This fits especially in MSc studies in Finland, but the same tradition continues even in PhD level. The studies of industrial students typically need twice the time and encounter a variety of problems having their roots in the mental, practical and motivational side. We list the challenges and handle them in a structured way in the form of anti-patterns. To provide a context for our findings we have included a discussion related to general aspects of PhD studies in the paper. The aim of the paper is to open up the discussion about this important topic and report our summarised 'close to one hundred years' of experience in mentoring and supervising PhD students.
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