So I'm sorry to keep posting somewhat similar threads about myself on here, but I really don't have anyone near me I can talk to about these things, and there are a lot of different people on here, so I thought I'd ask for letsrun's opinion.
I graduated in May with degrees in biology and chemistry. I had set myself up really well to go onto a Ph.D. program and potentially into academia after that, but I wanted time away from school to do other things and to decide what specifically I should study in graduate school. Well, after a few months of carefully considering all my options, I had pretty much decided not to go the Ph.D. route. I had decided I would just get a master's degree in environmental engineering and go to work. This route would require about 2.5 years of school, would guarantee me a job upon graduation, and the median income is about $80k/year. It's also a good mix of biology and chemistry, and I'd get to spend a fair amount of time outside (something I enjoy). Well, one of the jobs I recently applied to (before I had decided to go the engineering route) got back with me and the guy said that not only should I work for him but that I should be his Ph.D. student. This is in a molecular biology program where they alter genes and proteins and then see what the physiological effects are. The guy seems great, is highly productive, and his students turn out to have a lot of options available to them. It's a small lab and the guy seems like he really cares about working 1 on 1 with people, acting as a mentor, etc. He has said that there are a lot of jobs in this field outside of academia (it's bordering on biological/genetic engineering which is an extremely rapidly growing field). Income in this field is about the same or a little more than environmental engineering (not that money is a big issue for me, but it's worth considering).
All this is great, but now I have to make a decision. I have not had anyone else call back so far from the other jobs I applied to (been unemployed for about 6 weeks), and the application deadlines for the environmental engineering programs I've looked at have already passed meaning I'd have to wait a year whether I took this job or not. This guy says I could go to work for him starting in the next few weeks and then start as a Ph.D. student in the fall though, so it wouldn't make sense to start a Ph.D. program only to drop out a year later. I know I would do well in either field, but I'm having a tough time deciding. That this is a guaranteed immediate offer and environmental engineering has been a relatively recent idea makes it difficult to decide.
So yeah. I wasn't expecting the offer at all and was just looking for a job in the meantime as I looked more into environmental engineering, but this seems like a really great opportunity too. I'm having a tough time deciding what would make the most sense and would appreciate any comments. Thanks.