Why do a PhD?

24 thoughts on “Why do a PhD?

  1. I am currently writing the thesis…and I could not agree more. 100 hours a week for 4 years, gave up everything for science (friends, sports, hobbies, family) and I got almost nothing in return.
    For anyone wanting to start a Ph.D., I’d like to quote Gandalf: FLY, YOU FOOLS!! (Tolkien et al., 1954)

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    • Right. I found the 3-5 years to be inaccurate (4.5-6.5 much more likely) and it’s not really 100hrs/week either. I work a lot, but I’ve never worked a 100 hour week. Seven 14 hour days? No one is maintaining that. The rest feels spot on.

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  2. Well, there’s no practical benefit out of doing a PhD, that’s true, but the sort of training you get changes the way you look at things forever. I’d say it gives you a more enjoyable mental life.

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  3. Oh, PhD does increase your chances of getting certain kinds of jobs (with a nice enough salary that may or may not make up for the years in school). But to justify your keeping that salary and job — when they might hire two non-PhDs for the same price — is that you still love it enough to show inspiring enthusiasm, because you will be judged in industry on combining the subject matter with sophisticated interpersonal skills that are not modeled in grad school!

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  4. A PhD will ask you how many days do you have to discuss the question… lol… but seriously, there are a number of reasons, not just one… For me, I want to take care of my family now and as long as I live, a close second is I want to help my people (First Nations), I want to further my education in something I am passionate about, be a trailblazer in my field, and hopefully contribute in some small way to a foundation that can be built upon by future generations, especially my children, grandchildren and the young ones of my people. Other than that… I have no idea why… because I am crazy?… a number of people have said that to me… Lol…

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