Planning to obtain PhD but wait a moment: What’s your purpose of enrolling PhD and how important it is to pursue it at any cost?

Pursuing a PhD is a significant commitment that requires careful reflection and must be undertaken for the right reasons. Earlier in 2021, Risidaxshinni Kumarusamy shared her insights on Facebook, outlining the DOs and DON'Ts of pursuing a PhD. And, the writer finds it is still relevant enough to post about this insightful discussion which is common among all of us.

Her advice provides valuable guidance for those considering this prestigious academic path, the highest qualification one can attain in a lifetime.

Reasons NOT to Pursue a PhD

1. For the sake of title: Many, especially in Asian cultures, assign undue prestige to the title ‘Dr’. However, having a PhD does not inherently make one superior or more valuable. Success can come from various educational backgrounds and career experiences. Pursuing a PhD merely for the title can lead to unfulfillment, especially in fields that may not value or reward it, such as the corporate sector.

2. Misconceptions about academia: Some believe lecturing is an easy job and view a PhD as a simple path to becoming a lecturer. In reality, it demands a relentless work ethic, including preparing lectures, grading, conducting research, publishing, supervising students, and participating in university activities. Lecturers often work late into the night and on weekends, making it a demanding career.

3. Underestimating the effort: A PhD is not just for smart people; it’s for persistent people. Being good at exams and coursework does not equate to being good at research. A PhD requires tenacity, perseverance, and the ability to handle repeated criticism and failure over several years.

4. Unethical shortcuts: Some pursue a PhD by plagiarizing others' work. This unethical approach not only compromises integrity but also leads to serious consequences when one cannot defend their thesis or perform job duties effectively.

5. Extended paid leave: While taking a paid break to pursue a PhD may seem appealing, the commitment required for the degree can be as demanding as a full-time job. Sponsored PhDs often come with conditions, such as time constraints and mandatory service periods, which should be carefully considered.

Reasons to Pursue a PhD

1. Academic progression: If you are already in the academic field, a PhD can be a natural progression in your career.

2. Career requirements: Some careers require deep expertise and research, making a PhD essential.

3. Promotion and advancement: A PhD can enhance your prospects for promotion and career advancement.

4. Impactful research: If your research topic has significant societal or field-specific importance, a PhD can enable you to make valuable contributions and potentially turn your findings into books or training programs.

5. Career growth / Consideration to change occupation: If you seek to transition from the corporate world to academia because it aligns better with your skills and interests, a PhD can facilitate that change.

Bear in mind, guys. It's not about impressing others or conforming to societal expectations, but rather, it's about fulfilling your own academic and personal goals.

Glad we have came across such a beautiful piece of insights on pursuing PhD. Thank you, Risi!

Source / Image Credit: Risi Daxshinni