A Ph.D is the highest degree awarded in most academic disciplines. Doctoral programs can be pursued in subjects from sciences, engineering to humanities. However, the time of culmination for a doctorate degree can vary significantly between programs and disciplines. The common myths regarding a Ph.D program are as below.
1. Required to be equipped with your own research ideas.
This is not mandatory and most of the places the supervisor will suggest you research problems to work on.
2. It is very expensive to pay for a Ph.D program.
Not really because most of the Ph.D programs are fully funded and the tuition fee is waived off. Many students pursuing Ph.D are also offered teaching and research assistantship.
3. You have to slog in the labs even on weekends and way past midnight.
It’s a misconception that you have to work 24X7 throughout the year. Well organized researchers work 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and manage to get their research going in full swing.
4. Ph.D advisor is a ring master and Ph. D is a torture throughout your graduate school.
If you are passionate about the field you will find the program enjoyable and the Ph.D advisor rescues you when you are unable to find a solution.
5. You need to have expertise in that field before you venture into a Ph.D.
To start with you need not be an expert in that field. Inclination to learn and hard work is mandatory to do a Ph.D. It’s your piece of jigsaw.
6. Ph.D can only fetch you jobs in academia
You can find jobs in industry, journalism, patenting and politics also if interested. You are preferred because you have the ability to think creatively and work without supervision.
7. You become overqualified and unemployable
Self-motivation, team-work, excellence in writing, explaining, presenting, budgeting, prioritization, planning something original, being constructive and innovative are the skills you master. Many industries are research-based and so employ proportionately more doctorates. A Ph.D degree aids in faster career progression.
8. You are too old to pursue a Ph.D
It’s certainly possible to come back and pursue a PhD after considerable time away, age is not a factor.
9. Failed experiments means failed Ph.D
This is not true. The insights you get out of your research maters and not always the results. Many students write up their thesis with failed experiments and graduate with a Ph.D degree.
10. Ph.D means 8- 10 years of effort
Many countries offer a Ph.D degree in 3-4 years and USA around 4-5 years. The truth is that classes are a very small domain of the PhD. Learning how to carry out research and enhancing ones knowledge are the difficult parts. A PhD can help you climb up the career ladder in the world of business too. The goal of the PhD program is to prepare the next generation of leading researchers. It’s like a travel in an uncharted jungle and we can be your mentors to guide you in decision making.
Dr. Srivathsa Vaidya
Counseling Head – Pune
Imperial Overseas Education Consultants