Are you planning to pursue a Ph.D. and cement your expert as a doctor of science? A doctorate is a significant step towards advancing your career, increasing your professional marketability, and opening up new growth opportunities. With a Ph.D. you can explore lucrative positions in academia and create a wealth of research to leave your mark.
However, pursuing a doctorate requires multiple considerations. It is a life-changing decision that will alter your life in more ways than one. A doctorate requires commitment, dedication, consistency to work long hours and reach the true pinnacle of your academic potential. Keep reading to explore some compelling considerations before you starting planning your doctorate journey.
1. Are you motivated enough?
A doctoral degree requires the motivation to stay dedicated and work hard. Do you believe this is the right point in time for you to pursue a doctorate? If you’re struggling with financial stability, domestic issues, or lack of motivation, a doctorate will only increase your challenges.
Many students start with a sunny disposition, only to experience uncertainty, depression, and loss of direction halfway through the journey. It’s true, more than half of all doctorate students quit graduate school before completing their doctoral programs. So, ask yourself: am I motivated enough to undertake this journey and see it through?
A doctoral degree is the culmination of your academic and professional expertise. Don’t rush it. Take your time and adjust your priorities so you can enjoy financial stability and professional balance while pursuing a doctorate. It is essential to network extensively and develop relationships with university professors, dissertation chairs, and doctoral advisors.
2. Re-evaluate your Time Management Skills
Efficient time management skills are instrumental in achieving a healthy work-life balance successfully. Pursuing a doctorate is challenging, and your time management skills will help you achieve harmony and realign your priorities. If you’re working a full-time job and pursuing a doctorate, it is ideal to seek flexibility and convenience.
In 2021, professionals can explore eLearning solutions offered by prestigious accreditors and institutions. For instance, if you’re working as a social worker, you can pursue an online DSW alongside your job. Pursuing your doctoral in social science online instead of in traditional settings will considerably reduce the financial burden.
You can enjoy affordable and convenience without losing the financial stability of your current job. If you continue working alongside your doctorate, you can explore career advancement opportunities in your current workplace. Organizations are highly likely to retain employees who pursue academic advancement and offer highly specialized skillsets.
3. Perfectionism is a Myth
We all admire Nobel Prize-winning researchers and academicians who dedicated their lives to research and scientific discovery. However, our admiration should not compel us to focus excessively on perfectionism. You see, research and discovery do not force students to follow a set pattern or established standard.
Your doctorate is your journey of academic advancement, professional growth, and scientific discovery. While discipline and time management are essential virtues, perfectionism will only deter your growth. With time, you will identify the right tools to manage your time and resources effectively.
4. When should you Begin?
Should you start your doctoral degree immediately after your Master’s degree? Or perhaps, you should gain some work experience and then pursue a doctorate? These are the questions that ambitious students and professionals ponder over each day. How should I shape my academic and professional careers?
Many students believe that it is ideal to begin graduate school right after finishing their undergraduate. Students are more accustomed to taking classes, which makes them gravitate towards the idea of continuing their education. It is entirely a personal choice because each student is different in career mapping and professional goals.
However, experts build a strong case for pursuing a doctorate after gaining some work experience and professional exposure. Here’s why you should delay your doctoral degree:
- To gain better exposure and understanding of your chosen career path.
- To cement a solid understanding of your career goals.
- To explore lucrative opportunities that offer stability and growth.
- To broaden your world-view and identify research opportunities that excite you.
As explained above, a doctorate is the culmination of your academic and professional journey. It is essential to expand your exposure and knowledge before you turn towards a doctoral degree. Students should achieve financial stability as student loan debt can prove financially crippling.
5. Applied Doctorate Vs. PH.D.
Another common problem that students face: should I pursue a Ph.D. or an applied doctorate? A Ph.D. program focuses on contributing new research to expand existing knowledge with impactful theories. On the other hand, applied doctorate programs allow researchers to expand on existing knowledge and theories with practical applications.
Essentially, as a student, you must identify which degree is your calling and satisfies your academic ambitions and research goals. Do you plan to contribute to your field with new practices, innovations, and highlighting new concepts? Or perhaps, you want to analyze existing theories and improve their practical applications?
It is ideal to consider pursuing a doctoral degree after expanding your skillset and gaining exposure through work experience. Aspirants should seek networking opportunities and establish cordial relationships with university chairs and postgraduate advisors. It is also ideal to seek out eLearning opportunities that offer superior convenience and easy time management.