Just finished a master’s degree and doubting if you should go for a PhD? Or if you go for a job? You would like to apply your knowledge in practice, but a PhD also has many advantages. It’s a difficult choice. We asked Joost (Junior Researcher Seed Production), Jordy (Researcher Phytopathology) and Valerio (Senior Bioinformatician) about the advantages and disadvantages of both possibilities. Joost started working immediately after his master’s degree. Jordy and Valerio did a PhD first. Nowadays, all three are working in Seed Valley.

Following a PhD course

Advantages PhD course

  • During your PhD studies, you learn to manage a group of people.
  • It is good for your personal development.
  • It ensures a ‘soft’ transition from student to your first job. You remain in the academic world; a world in which you have been in 5 to 6 years already, during your studies.
  • Because you do a lot of work on your own, you learn to think in a solution-oriented way.
  • You develop extra research skills, compared to a Bachelor’s/Master’s course. For example, a clearer helicopter view and a great capacity for assessment.
  • You can share new knowledge with the world by publishing your research.
  • You gather an extensive network of professional colleagues.
  • You can immerse yourself in your research.
  • Experimental skills are well taught.

Disadvantages PhD course

  • As a PhD student, you are mainly involved in publishing your research, there is little room for other activities.
  • You often work alone, which can be lonely.
  • Because of the freedom, there is less structure, which can be difficult for some.
  • Supervising students takes up a lot of time. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s something you have to enjoy to do.
  • After your PhD studies you may be told that you are overqualified for a position within companies.
  • You are constantly working with deadlines, which creates time pressure and can cause stress.

Getting a job

Advantages of getting a job

  • The chance to grow as a researcher is bigger than at an university. Universities are comparable to a pyramid. The higher you want to go, the smaller the chance of finding a job.
  • In the business world, the goal of a research project is more defined. Your focus is therefore on achieving a more concrete goal.
  • You work on several projects at the same time, instead of on one project at the university. This gives you more variety in your work.
  • Within the company, you are the expert in your function. Your colleagues therefore know how to find you with the right questions, including those from abroad, for example.
  • In the business world, you also build up a large network of professional colleagues

Disadvantages of getting a job

  • There is also time pressure, the trials of breeders have deadlines and they need results from you to be able to continue with their work.
  • You may have to get used to ‘sharing’ research with a team. Asking for help still has to get into your system.
  • While you are working, it is not possible to publish your research. If you want to work as a researcher at a university at a later stage, it is difficult because you have no published research to your name.


Now that you have read all the pros and cons, it is up to you to make a choice. Are you curious about the positions within the business world? Then take a look at our vacancies page. Who knows you might soon become the colleague of Jordy, Valerio or one of the many other employees within Seed Valley.

Check out our vacancies