In terms of investing your time and your money, a PhD is a huge commitment and one which will see you take 3 additional years in your education and these will be 3 incredibly intense years of your studying life. Those who do have a PhD are said to have a better chance of gaining a job at the end of it and there is of course the additional respect that one who completes this will receive. The question remains however that with such time and money that you need to invest, is a PhD actually worth it? Let’s take a look to see whether or not the rewards at the end of a PhD study, are worth what you need to put in to achieve it.
One of the most common reason why people invest their time and their finances into a PhD is because they think that they will have a better chance of high quality employment once they have qualified. The statistics certainly show that those with PhDs are highly employable and a total of 85.7% of PhD graduates are currently in employment, after removing those who have shunned work for personal reasons, that leaves a very small percentage of people who are unemployed in spite of their PhD. However, a recent study has shown that of those 85.7% that are employed, just 42% of them are actually doing jobs that they want which begs the question as to whether or not a PhD is the golden ticket that many think it is, the stats would suggest not.
The majority of careers which are attained after a PhD course are education and the sciences and the majority of PhD students will find careers in these areas. With this being said, may areas that only elected PhD students in the past, academia for example, have now opened their net further which means less opportunity for those who have invested an extra 3 years into their education.
PhD students will learn a great many transferable skills throughout their course and they will end up specializing in things like teaching, publication, professional networking, research, public speaking and project management. Generally speaking, PhD students will leave their education as a more rounded and knowledgeable person than someone who has not studied for the additional time that a PhD student has.
Should You Do It?
As to whether or not you should invest your time and money into those additional 3 years will ultimately come down to what career you have in mind for once you have completed your education. If you re looking for a career as a university professor or a professional in the scientific research field, then yes, a PhD will favor you once you leave education. There are however, many career which do not require this and you would be better off investing those 3 years in a job as opposed to pushing for higher education. The choice comes down to which career you are looking for, what you are trying to achieve and how much money you are willing to spend. One thing that is for certain however, is that a PhD is no longer what it once was.