A doctorate degree (PhD) is the highest level of university education one can attain. The PhD level is aimed at installing a higher level of knowledge in an area ofindividual’sinterest so as to credit the individual with a recognized level of expertise in the subject.
It is this acknowledgement of “expertise” that distinguishes PhD graduates from other degrees such as Bachelors or Masters. Hence PhD graduates are awarded the “Doctor” title or have the initials “PhD” after their name to highlight this level of expertise.
The pursuit of a PhD is demanding as one would imagine, but can too be very gratifying. However not everyone is cut out for a PhD nor does everyone need a PhD. So why would one pursue a PhD? Well there are several reasons as follows:
1) Respect: The very fact that a PhD certifies an individual as an “expert” in a field is an attraction enough for some to pursue a PhD. The knowledge that one is regarded as an expert can be a great confidence boost to some. Our society is known to treat people differently and hence having the initials PhD after one’s name (or the “Doctor” title) commands a higher level of respect from others.
2) Credibility: Having a PhD does enlist credibility in an individual in regards to the area of study chosen. Again going back to the expertise point, a PhD graduate is automatically regarded as an expert in the chosen field. This expertise and thus credibility has many advantages in one’scareer path.
A credible candidate can be favored in high post jobs over a less credible one. Thus obtaining a PhD can lead to better job prospectus in many fields. In fact in some fields such as the scientific field, PhD are required in order for one to qualify for certain job posts.
Other fields may not have this requirement however holding a PhD in any field does boost both income and career options for many. Credibility is also a great marketing tool, in fact studies have shown that generally people trust favor those who have credibility than others.It’s no wonder that books by authors with a PhD tend to do better than those without (books in the non-fiction/creative areas that is). Television (and even radio) programs too follow this trend in so much as in fields such as psychology and scientific. It’s thosewith PhD that are called in for their expert knowledge.Anyone familiar with diet programs in the UK such as “Youare what you eat” will see this clearly or anyone familiar with Oprah program and it’s many PhD holders called upon for their expertise. Thus a right PhD can open doors far and wide in both career prospective and sometimes even fame (Dr. Phil is a good example).
Although it goes without saying then that credibility attached with obtaining a PhD,andit’sassociated benefits, can be a great motivation for one to pursue a PhD. There are exceptions in that not all fields require a PhD to establish credibility of the candidate. Moreover some fields may even regard a PhD candidate as over-qualified, a fact that will limit job prospectus for the said candidate.
It’s therefore important for anyone considering a PhD to know the field of interest and the job market related to that field. Some example will be for manual jobs such as plumbers, builders and such a PhD will be useless because in these fields the practice or rather experience is favored over academic achievement.Thuspursuing a PhD in these fields will be a waste of time and money.
3) Passion: The road to obtaining a PhD is long and hard.It’salso one loitered with many who give up. The demands of both time and personal sacrifices can be too much for many. Therefore one must have a real passion for undertaking such a task.
Passion for the area of study is a must as this passion is essential, especially during hard times, to ensure successful completion of a PhD. Hence those who have a deep passion on an area of study can be attracted toaPhD.
4) Love of study:For those “eternalstudents” i.e., those who simply love to learn a PhD can be a great attraction. A PhD is truly the icing on the academic cakewhen it comes to the pursuit of knowledge.
The PhD level allows one to delve deep into the area of interest, exploring different ideas and so on. If this sounds like your idea of hell then a PhD may not be for you.However for those who strive in the search of deeper or better understanding in any field, a PhD may be just what they are looking for. Furthermore by design, a PhD aimsat unraveling or bringing in a “new”or “better” understanding/knowledge to a specific area, whichhasn’tbeen done previously.Those who enjoy or even thrive on challenges will be attracted to pursuit of a PhD in their area of interest.
All in all a PhD, like any other academic qualification, have values that will appeal to some and repel others. In the end the real reason for anyone’sdecision to pursue a PhD will be a mixture of many reasons some mentioned in this article. For those who choose to pursue a PhD, for whatever reason, wishing you all the best.