The peak of an individual’s formal academic learning is doing a PhD. But there are several career paths you can pursue before getting your PhD degree, and it is not essential to have this degree to have a successful career.
Well! It is a tiring and time-consuming process to undertake a PhD. And there are numerous opinions on the requirements for doing a PhD – all of them are not positive. But a PhD is a standard in the area of higher education; it decides the evolution, ranking, and quality of the academic disciplines. Still, there are numerous bright aspirants for some competitive PhD positions present at different university departments.
Let us talk about the nine things you must consider before doing a PhD.
Do You Really Need a PhD Degree?
In disciplines such as technology, there is no need to have a PhD to be the best. Although it is a practice-based field, you can get the related skills while working in this arena.
However, in the non-science field scenario, it can help to carry on academic as it is where the ideas are made through seminars, conferences, writing, reading, discussions, debate, etc. For instance, a PhD degree in Humanities sharpens the skills of teaching, writing, and reading, something that is not possible in work.
Research the Area You are Interested in
When you decide to go abroad for a PhD, research the area you are interested in, visit different sites of different universities and various departments, see the faculty, the publications, and profiles of current and past PhD students.
Additionally, talk to the students who are doing a PhD in a relevant field, get in touch with them through email or other networking sites such as Academia or ResearchGate. It may help you make the right choice.
Open PhD vs. Project-Based PhD
Numerous research groups, usually at European universities, get PhD applications in their working niche and primarily fund all the accepted students.
However, you can prefer any topic you are interested in after getting into the PhD or during the application.
Choosing a Supervisor
It is crucial to have a good supervisor during a PhD. All you need is your supervisor’s guidance in the right direction and help with other problems you may face.
Don’t forget to check the academic profile, past experiences as a teacher, and publications of your prospective supervisors. If it is possible for you, talk to their old scholars and discuss your decision to work with that supervisor.
There is no need to choose a renowned person who cannot give your enough attention and time – so choose wisely.
Is it Essential to Choose an Interdisciplinary Topic?
Well! It is your free will to choose the PhD topic, and it ends up becoming specialized; however, try to think about the factor of employability as well.
Yes, it is suitable for the humanities, where a selective PhD topic cannot fit into mainstream academic or can have less scope to gain an academic position after you finish your PhD. Some courses may have a hard time placing the students, getting funding, and financing their departments.
However, if you have learned some skills in the undergraduate courses, they come in handy. Numerous individuals in digital humanities and media studies have a background in science subjects, technology, or engineering.
Be a Reader
A PhD intends to make a keen and independent scholar, and for this, it needs a person who sustains more extensive reading. Thus, read whatever you get your hands on and get updated with every change in your specific topic or area.
Don’t forget! A PhD is a leap forward considering the writing and reading skills. Be prepared for it and push this bar as much as you can, as you will do a lot of work on your own.
Networking and Academic Life
All the negativity around the demanding academic pursuit can usually lead to opposing ideas.
However, when you see it inside, you will see numerous positive aspects as well. Attending workshops, seminars, and conferences in different countries or cities can be a unique experience.
Therefore, network with academics, researchers, and colleagues, and develop enough networking to balance the internal solitude of your research life. It will help to find jobs and funding in the future.
Commitment and Passion
It is essential to be passionate about the subject you are researching. It does not mean that you seem to enjoy the deadlines; however, you must see the advantage behind it.
Never think of doing a PhD just to add “Dr” to your name or any type of recognition. The principal reason to do a PhD is to study your favorite subject in-depth.
Initiate by improving in on the thesis depending on your commitment and passion, and everything will follow you.
Take One Year Gap but Never Let it Run on
Before doing a PhD, many people prefer to get work experience of doing teaching jobs to take study leave to get their thesis complete and return to their work again. Occasionally, the work experience helps you find out your further steps.
Various people are not content with their academic training; thus, they go for a PhD to fill the void and improve their career prospects.
But, never wait too long to start doing a PhD if you like to be in academia. Because it will stop your career enhancement. It is excellent to finish your PhD and then step into teaching or other career fields.
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