A PhD student of my advisor (I am a master student), having been enrolled the doctorate program for less than a year, is now unsure about whether or not to finish it.

One of his concerns is that if he continues, but eventually quits the doctorate program, and applies for a normal job, the future interviewer, during interview, may suspect his lack of ability due to the record of an unfinished PhD program.

However, if he does not write on his CV about the years during PhD program, the interviewer may further question about the absent years.

So, does a record of an unfinished PhD program makes employers doubt a person’s ability? Or are there other negative consequences in it (besides, of course, the opportunity cost of the time interval)?

In addition to helping me reassure him, such information also helps me to decide whether to get a PhD in the future.
(Not being anglophone, if I misused some terms in English please correct me.)

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