CS PhD or work part-time and apply to full-time positions?

I graduate this fall with my computer science BS. I’ve been at my internship for 2+ years because it’s a year-round role with fulltime in the summer and part-time during the school year. It pays pretty decent, enough to move out from my parents. I also get benefits like 401k matching and dental/vision/medical. Only downside is that there’s a huge reorg happening and my team and I have a high chance of being on the chopping block. This led me to finding a contingency plan. I reached out to a professor that invited everyone in the class to join their research lab to get some additional resume boosting experience. Turns out it was a new program where their whole initiative to create talented and skilled data scientists, experts on AI because that’s all the rage right now.

I met up with the professor and the director of the group to talk about it, got excited at the idea of getting a PhD pretty much for free along with a monthly stipend, and ended up applying and getting accepted into the PhD program. Now this is where the real issue is.. they want work done fast, there’s no clear outlines of expectations, and they don’t pay as much as my internship does. I talked with my manager and they say I can pick up another job as long as it doesn’t interfere with my current one. So I guess I’m trying to do both.

I’ve been really stressing out lately because I have to work fulltime and after I get off work, it’s pretty much right to doing stuff for the PhD program. During the fall, it’ll be even worse because I’ll be juggling working 20 hours internship, 20 hours PhD program work, and 15 credit hours of classes I need to pass to graduate in December.

The crazy thing is that growing up, I really wanted to become a professor and go to conferences and stuff. I feel like this program would be my last ticket to get there for free… What would you do if you were in my shoes? Is this even feasible?

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