To do a PhD or not to do a PhD

In life, there come difficult times when you want to make impactful decisions. They could determine the next phase of your life, or perhaps even change it forever. Deciding whether or not to do a Ph.D. is definitely one of them!

During times as such, being in a dilemma can lead to frustration. Research is key even before applying for a doctoral program. You need to assess whether you are qualified for it. Your current area of study also won't determine what you want to do for Ph.D. You can surely have full control once your proposal gets approved if you are ready to work beyond the 9 to 5 standard.

Before anything else, let's understand why people go for PhDs.

The Purpose and Benefits

  • Doing a Ph.D. solely supports being more knowledgeable in a dedicated field of interest and contributing one's own time and research effort.
  • It can be a highly rewarding experience and is a wonderful journey that brings in new possibilities.
  • It pays a higher salary than you earn with a master's degree.
  • It is a paid job after post-grad so you won't be jobless.
  • It is a unique career choice and develops an impressive number of skills.
  • It allows you to pursue a career in teaching at universities.

Though applying for a Ph.D. program may sound amazing, you must also prepare for the dedication and hard work you'll need ahead. That is why we want to discuss the factors that you should consider before embarking upon this journey.

Hard work goes hand-in-hand with intelligence: One thing to keep in mind is that students who aim for a Ph.D. don't necessarily have exceptionally high IQ. Of course, they are geniuses, but they need to persevere to complete a full-blown Ph.D. program. There will be countless experiments that will not pan out. Eventually, the workload gets tougher, so as long as you trust yourself to be patient and keep at it till the end, you're good to go!

Having the funds: After you get accepted for your field of interest, you may think the most challenging part is over. However, accumulating enough to fund your research may be the most daunting challenge of all. It will end up determining whether you can accomplish your Ph.D. goals or not. Even if you don't have enough, you can opt for a part-time doctorate program that will help you save money but be sure to avoid taking on debt to get a Ph.D.

What happens in a Ph.D. program: Your first year will be all about clearing out all the mandatory coursework to get to the actual Ph.D. You have to formulate a logical hypothesis. Within a couple of years, the work gets more exhausting as you have to keep repeating experiments by pulling all-nighters. By the end of 5 years, you will end up with impressive skills and be desirable for any university.

We believe a possible direction towards a Ph.D. may come with challenges, but you can surely overcome with perseverance.