So, this is it – you are in the finishing straight to your graduation day. When this crucial moment comes, you must have doubts about pursuing the highest academic level in your field. Do you need a Ph.D. degree? What are the benefits of this title? Will it help you get a job and become a better professional? Can a Ph.D. degree bring you something more than just a chance to show off?
In this post, we would like to discuss some crucial benefits of getting a Ph.D. degree – professional, personal, and career-oriented.
Skill of data processing
One of the top skills for every job applicant is data processing. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making are crucial for all jobs. To make things clear, if you master these abilities, you will easily identify problems, analyze them, and find the most optimal solutions. People with Ph.D. degrees usually are researchers, which means that they already have such skills.
To compose a Ph.D. dissertation, you have to deal with really tough questions and do in-depth research. Your task is to approach the questions from different angles, choose the best methodology to tackle them and produce original answers. Your Ph.D. project will definitely teach you how to process sources and use them to prove/confute hypotheses. Employers value this a lot.
Habit of learning from failures
Again, a Ph.D. dissertation is a tough project, so it is hard to imagine anyone dealing with it smoothly. Sometimes, to answer the smallest question, you need to perform 20 experiments, reconsider your methodology, and then perform 30 more experiments to define another small part of your hypothesis. Serious academic work means that you fail over and over again without being sure that one day it will work. Still, you sit at your desk to fail again. Why do you do that? Because you already know that failures teach you and show the right direction.
This may sound like something common for everyone, but it isn’t. Most people prefer doing nothing when there is a risk of failing – they are quitters. Some quit after failing once and don’t return to the same activity because of the negative experience. If you know how to learn from failures, you have an advantage over quitters.
If someone tells you that a degree means nothing – don’t listen to them. When it comes to employment, specialized education is a competitive advantage. A Ph.D. degree in your CV shows employers that you can conduct research, work independently, and present your ideas to well-versed audiences. Aside from a dissertation, a life of a Ph.D. is connected with conferences, organization, committee work, learning, and publishing. All of these skills are valuable for a job, and employers will definitely pay special attention to them.
Habit of working under the pressure of uncertainty
If you already have a Ph.D. or struggling to get one, you have to deal with uncertainty. You never know if your grant gets funds, you don’t know if the reviewer will accept your paper, and you are not sure that it will be published one fine day. What is more, you don’t know if your hypotheses are right until you complete your paper, and even if they are wrong, you are not sure that your ideas are valuable for the academic field. Everything you are doing might be proven wrong at any moment.
Uncertainty doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable. Instead, you rely on it – you know that uncertainty leads you to discoveries and opens new horizons. When everything is clear to you, this means that nothing interesting is ahead. Most people feel unhappy when they experience uncertainty, but a Ph.D. path can teach you to take risks and, what is more – enjoy that venture.
Competition and collaboration
To get a Ph.D. degree, you have to work closely with other students. Also, you will definitely compete with them for publication opportunities and resources. But you will also collaborate to get published and share resources. A person with a Ph.D. is qualified to work in a team, but they also know how to stand up for themselves.
Ability to create content
As we have already mentioned, Ph.D. teaches you to process information. However, a degree is granted to those who have added something new to the body of knowledge. Only 2% of the population has a Ph.D. degree because most people are rather consumers or processers, but they are not creators. Learning and retelling is something everyone can do. However, not everyone can interpret and produce information. The most valuable skill of a Ph.D. holder is creating unique and fresh ideas. Most people cannot do that.
Only a few Ph.D. students have a career plan, even when their education is nearly over. However, it doesn’t mean that their decision to take a degree was wrong – they get valuable skills in the process. As we have found out today, skills like data processing, collaboration, competition, content creation, and others are essential for a future candidate for a job. If you are passionate about your subject area, you should consider pursuing a Ph.D. Even though it is a hard path to take, the benefits are worth it.