Things You Need to Consider When Opting for PhD
When you are in undergrad, PhD sounds like an appealing option since you see a future for yourself in the discipline you’re pursuing. However, when you step into the professional field or go for your Masters, you realize that PhD is not the prerequisite for all the jobs.
Many people debate about pursuing that degree. This means that you will also be receiving a lot of advice from friends, family, seniors and teachers who have either been in the same boat or are struggling to find the answer themselves.
Well, PhD is undoubtedly a giant leap into the academic world, but you have to consider some points before you step into this world. First of all, while you’re enrolled in the program, you are not treated as a student and instead have to work on your research skills, so make the decision wisely.
To help you with that, we have compiled a list of factors that you need to debate before applying.
Do Your Research
If you have done your undergrad or masters from a college that also offers a PhD in your discipline, then it is better to visit the faculty and department to see how it all functions.
You need to research from the early stages via dissertation writing service the UK to see how much additional information you can get before applying for the subject for a doctorate.
Do not wait for your career counsellors to gather all the information for you. Instead, browse the internet and try to find as many schools as you can that offer the program and see which one will suit you the best.
Colleges after post-grad have different styles of teaching and you tend to consider facilities and instructors present at each institute as it can make your experience much better.
Not a Continuity of Undergrad
Most students in college do not understand that a PhD does not mean that you are just continuing to study. There is a misconception that when you go for a doctorate, you only keep studying advanced parts of your major.
What happens is that when you’re in undergraduate, you closely study everything that your major is related to while in PhD, you get to have the first-hand experience with e research paper.
You need to have original ideas in order to pass your doctorate as it is not just about learning textbooks and passing exams. The courses you will take will be in accordance with your major and you will be designing actual work, vital to the studies and research.
When you complete your program, you will be graded on how original and innovative your ideas were and not how well you performed on tests and how well you know the material by heart. In fact, PhD grades do not matter a lot. Many people just prefer to do fieldwork and maintain the minimum requirements for their exams.
Take A Break If It Is Necessary
As soon as you come to your senior year, all conversations around you have the same theme: what will you do after undergrad? Now we know that post-grad education is important and in senior year, that seems like the most comfortable option because well, you will still be studying, so it is not a step out into the world, right?
Well, that is a wrong assumption to make because post-grad school, unlike undergrad, does not occupy all of your time. So if you sign up for it solely to keep yourself busy, you might need other distractions too.
Plus, if you are aiming to be a professor or researcher in the field, a lot of people say that it is not possible without having a masters or a PhD and while that holds true for some subjects, you need to check your course requirements.
Some people don’t want to stay in the academic world for nine years, so take a break after college if you must. Explore your field, see how the professional work looks and after a year or two, if you still feel PhD is something you want to do, then you can apply for it.
You can even gather enough money to save up for grad school after working, so do not blow out all your funds in one go.
Focus On Your Interest
Again, there is a misconception that you have to do your doctorate in a subject that you have studied all your life. While the discipline might stay the same, you can choose a different branch if you like it, even if you just have basic information about it.
For instance, if you are majoring in the regulation of membrane proteins that doesn’t mean this is what your research will be in PhD too. You can easily opt for other options that interest you and are related to your subject. Many people experience career shifts during their post-grad and it is okay to realise what your passion is after you are done with college.
While studying undergrad, many people find out that they do not like lab-based work and instead want to work on the theorem and vice versa.
When you are enrolling in a PhD program, make sure you have a lot of options. Remember that you have to spend five years there and you will not just be focused on one part.
Your options should be variable and when you first go there, try to see what other people on the campus are majoring in. You can join their study groups and take their suggestions in your work.
In the end, PhD is all about researching and meeting the discipline you have studied first hand. Another advice is to pick your instructor carefully. In some cases, you’re told to pick your research advisor even before you start your semester and before you know it, you are opting for a different one.
This is one reason why many universities actually give you a free hand in the first two semesters to see which group and advisor you will adjust with. Make the decision carefully.
Some people look at the degrees and others look at the experience. We say that you should always go with the experience because they will be able to guide you about the research better.
The first few names that come to your mind when we mention PhD are obviously Ivy Leagues or other prestigious schools. However, when it comes to PhD, the name of the institute doesn’t matter.
You could be at Stanford doing your research in physics, but if you aren’t involved in it, you wouldn’t learn. Consider the location of your school because you will be spending five years in that place. Contrary to popular belief, all five years would not be spent in a lab with a microscope and you will eventually need to step out. So, see which environment suits you the best.
These are some of the things that you have to consider when you are looking to pursue a PhD. We know that it is not an easy decision but do not unnecessarily burden yourself with the pressure of going to grad school. You can very easily skip a year or two before you are ready to bring out the student in you.