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9 things you should consider before pursuing a PhD Degree
Have you completed your postgraduate studies and are now considering adding another feather to your hat with a PhD degree?
PhD is a higher level of qualification that will not be as easy a route as other degrees. You have heard similar statements from many people, and they’re probably not incorrect.
There are numerous factors to consider before diving into the world of academia. As a result, we’ve written this article to help you clarify your perspective on PhD studies.
After speaking with PhD candidates, we identified nine significant factors that you should consider before deciding to join the elite society of scholars.
9 essential things to consider before pursuing a PhD degree:
Be completely sure about pursuing a PhD degree
This is, without a doubt, the most important factor to consider before pursuing a PhD. You must be absolutely certain before embarking on this path, as it will not be an easy one.
No, I’m not trying to scare you, but I do want to warn you that researching for a PhD is a time-consuming and stressful process. Instead of studying what is already available, you must provide a new solution to the topic you have chosen.
As a result, this will be a rollercoaster ride, and you should only consider it if you are willing to invest a significant amount of time and are extremely passionate about finding a solution in your desired field.
Spend some time considering the topic or subjects in which you want to pursue your PhD. Shortlist the topics that interest you, discuss them with professors and research students, and gather all the information you can.
This will allow you to gain a thorough understanding of the topics on which you wish to focus your PhD research and help you make an informed decision. It is important to choose a topic about which you are passionate.
Because you will be researching it for the next 4 to 5 years, so it should be something you’re interested in, not something you’re not.
Throughout your PhD, your supervisor will be your primary point of contact. He or she will advise, mentor, and assist you in your research.
As a result, it is essential that you select a supervisor who is an expert in your chosen field rather than someone with broad knowledge of the subject. Only if your supervisor is well-versed in the subject will he or she be able to guide you effectively.
It will be difficult for you to complete your doctorate on time if they have to search or read for themselves first. Research thoroughly and only approaches the supervisor for your PhD degree when you are certain, as the supervisor influences not only your research but also your career beyond your PhD.
Not every university offers a PhD in the subject or topic of your choice. Besides the location of the university also matter whether it is feasible for your research or not. Furthermore, where do you want to pursue your PhD from?
This is also an important question to answer if you want to pursue your PhD in India or abroad. If travelling abroad is what interests you, you also have to choose a country as well.
You must also consider the scholarships and admissions process of the university to which you wish to apply. After collecting all of your data, determine which universities you are eligible for and apply accordingly.
How you are going to pay
Let’s be realistic here. Doing a PhD is a time-consuming job that requires a lot of resources to conduct research, as well as funding for these resources, admission fees, tuition fees, travel, and so on.
Working full-time while pursuing a PhD is a pipe dream that is difficult to realize. So the question is how will you manage your finances?
There could be two possibilities. First and foremost, you must have a family who supports you and can financially fund you. Second, you can apply for various PhD scholarships offered by various national and international institutes.
You can learn about PhD scholarships by visiting the UGC portal or by visiting the page of the specific fellowship. Check the eligibility requirements and apply accordingly.
Make a schedule
After you’ve completed all of the preceding tasks, the next step is to be organized. You will conduct research and will need to read and comprehend a great deal of data.
As a result, it is always preferable to create a proper schedule of what you intend to do first, the experiments and surveys you intend to conduct, and so on.
This will allow you to organize your research and avoid ambiguity. You can better manage your time and even find time to work on your thesis.
Take careful notes
You may have a fantastic memory, but with so much information, there is a good chance you will overlook some facts. That is why it is always a good idea to take notes.
It will make your work much easier and will be of great assistance when writing your dissertation and thesis. Take notes on everything, even the seemingly insignificant details.
You will need a lot of data to back up your research, so don’t skip anything and collect everything. You can always fine-tune it later.
Create a network
You’re working on your PhD, so you’ll be meeting a lot of people for research or other purposes. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Reach out to people from different fields and create a network.
Having a network of like-minded individuals and industry experts is always beneficial. Don’t limit yourself; instead, push the envelope and include people in your network.
After all, pursuing a PhD does not imply focusing solely on research, but also on the overall development of your personality.
Keep your work-life balance
A PhD is a full-time job with no leaves. There will be no weekends or set times to be free, and you may feel guilty for not doing certain things even after working so hard.
However, you must exercise caution. You must understand that taking breaks is essential for staying motivated and energized. You don’t have to isolate yourself from everyone because taking time for yourself and your loved ones is completely appropriate. You don’t need to pressurize yourself.
If you have read all of the points and still think you can achieve your doctorate goal. You should definitely go ahead with it. However, if you have any doubts, you should reconsider your decision. Because PhD study will require a full-time commitment, you should only commit when you are fully prepared.
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