Are you ready to embark on a doctoral journey?

Many students, after completing their Master’s degree, quickly jump into a doctoral programme, without analysing their interests and goals in life. This is the reason why many students do not reap success in their academic careers. A doctoral programme is a gateway to a career in university teaching. So, once you get a PhD in a subject matter, you will be required to publish papers with novel and innovative ideas and disseminate this knowledge to your students. You will be able to do the aforementioned tasks only if you are passionate about a subject matter. So, before embarking on a doctoral journey, you should understand your interests. Obtaining a PhD is difficult and it takes close to five years. Since it is a huge investment in terms of time, effort and money, it is best to think things through before making a decision.

First and foremost, in order to select the right doctoral programme, you should understand your strengths and weaknesses. There are many tests online, which can help you in identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Also, these tests help in matching your skills to the right profession. This way, you can be certain that you are making the right decision with regards to your career. Also, before embarking on a doctoral path, try your hand at teaching. Once you get a PhD, you will be expected to teach undergraduates and postgraduates. So, find out if you enjoy teaching by working as a tutor in your university. As a lecturer, you need to have immense patience and good interpersonal skills.

Apart from teaching, a lecturer is required to publish papers in reputed journals. Writing and publishing papers on ideas that are new is not easy; in fact, people work day and night to come up with high quality research papers. If you enjoy conducting qualitative and quantitative research, and love analysing primary and secondary sources of information, pursuing a doctorate is the right way to go. Students who pursue a doctorate in natural sciences have the opportunity to either work as scientists in the industry or contribute to academic research in universities.

Since a doctoral programme is a lifetime commitment, you ought to analyse the benefits and drawbacks of pursuing the programme. Once you successfully complete the doctoral programme, great opportunities will come knocking on your door. But the journey to such sweet rewards is not smooth; there are a lot of ups and downs and you should be ready to work long hours.

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