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Would potential employers (for academic or non-academic R&D positions) care about who is on my thesis committee?

Basically, I'm asking if there is any benefit in having more well-known professors on my committee who would provide me with little guidance, as opposed to assistant professors or research professors who are not well known but could possibly provide me with some guidance.

I'm asking because I have been discouraged by fellow graduate students from including a research professor on my thesis committee. Their reasons are that if a potential employer looks him up online and sees that he is not a tenured professor they may think that I tried to put together an 'easy' thesis committee.

The reason I would like to include this person is that he was the only member of my qualifying exam committee who read my paper carefully. He seemed to have a good understanding of my research and after I passed the exam he emailed me a list of suggestions for my future work. I think he may serve as a better committee member, although I could probably discuss my research with him even if I leave him off the thesis committee list.

1 Answer 1

The exact composition of your committee will probably weigh much less than the results you get (and any publications out of your thesis). Help in doing the work is more important than some final ceremony.