Many people believe that education is the best way to ensure a prosperous future and a stable life overall. As such, millions of people worldwide study, stress over exams, and often get in debt in order to finance their academic pursuits. While some decide to start a career as soon as they can legally get out of school, others keep pushing towards an official degree such as PhD degree.
Supposing you got your BA and MA. What now? You’ve spent years getting your education already, but you still have options. Some people are extremely tempted to get a PhD – but not all of them prevail. So, what really lies behind this ambitious choice? Is it worth it? In this article, we aim to shed some light on what goes into getting a PhD degree. If you want to find out more, keep on reading!
Career Opportunities After PhD Degree
Many PhD students believe their career opportunities will be endless as soon as they get their degree. To some extent, this statement is true. In the case of highly competitive fields, even the slightest factor matters. A PhD degree can give you the edge over another prospective candidate who “only” has an MA degree.
That being said, you need to choose your subject carefully. If you’re passionate about something uncommon and specific, such as theology, becoming a doctor of theology could be the best option for you, especially if you want to continue working in the academic field. However, if your dream is to find a career in the private sector, specializing in such a niche subject, may not help you at all.
Financial Aspects Of PhD Degree
You may be wondering if getting a PhD degree is worth it financially. Once again, the answer is not that simple. You may be able to get additional funding with scholarships and science grants. However, many PhD students earn a living with low-paying teaching or research jobs and assistantships. Depending on the grad school, the salary may force you to live more frugally than you’d like to at this point in your life.
What about the long-term perspectives? Studies show that people who received a PhD degree earn more than those with an MA or a BA degree. What’s more, their salary has the potential to increase as the years go by steadily. This salary boost is the most noticeable in the STEM fields.
Getting a doctoral degree is, by no means, an easy task. The course usually takes 4 or 5 years, but some students take twice as much time to complete it. The pressure is high, the assignments pile up, and your responsibilities keep increasing. It’s a test of will, determination, and patience – and many people fail.
Having a plan and clearly defined goals for the future is crucial to be successful in whatever you do. It’s especially important while getting a degree because the academic environment tends to be extremely stressful. However, it can also teach you some soft skills such as teamwork, organization, and communication. Ultimately, the whole experience can transform you and help you grow as a person.
Finally, there’s the issue of academic life. By this point, you probably dedicated almost a quarter of your life to studying. Getting a doctorate degree would mean that you’re going to spend even more time at graduate school and, possibly, at an academic institution as a researcher or a teaching assistant.
If you’re not interested in the academic lifestyle and getting a PhD degree is more of a formality to you, then it’s possible that you’ll feel burnt out or unmotivated. However, if teaching is your passion, you’d love to do more research and keep learning about your chosen subject, you’re likely going to strive in a highly intellectual environment. If you want to work at a university and become a professor, getting a PhD degree is simply a must for you.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, getting a PhD degree comes with advantages and drawbacks. While many aspects make it worth it in the long run, other factors may be discouraging to some people. The best thing you can do is reevaluate your plan and see if this career choice aligns with your personality and long-term goals.
Ultimately, you need to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. After all, it’s a significant decision that can potentially impact the rest of your life. We hope that this article was helpful to you and shed some light on how this career path may look like. Regardless of your choice, good luck!