PhD means “doctor of philosophy”.
Philosophy is the study of knowledge and the nature of knowledge.
Who doesn’t want a bit of prestige and fame? Imagine having the title “Dr” on your IDs and credit cards. You can also use it in your emails. Isn’t that cool? The way people look at you will definitely change when you introduce yourself as Dr. X instead of just X. A PhD will also make you stand out from the crowd as only 1.1% of the world’s population have a PhD. And during your PhD, in addition to publishing research papers, your supervisor will likely offer to co-write book chapters (both of you will have your name on the book, but you may be the one to write the chapter). This will increase your online visibility and be just a Google search away.
If you are considering an academic and research career, a PhD is essential in most cases. Some editorial positions also require one. However, a PhD is not always a good thing. For example, when applying for jobs in certain pharmaceutical or biotech industries, a PhD can make you seem overqualified, especially when the employer can charge you, hire a job with a master’s degree that can do the job very well and pay less. So you might be a few years behind on the same job if you get a PhD.
Earn a PhD for your career
Suppose you want to earn a PhD to pursue a career in academia or elsewhere. Enter a PhD program at 25 or even 30, the average length of a PhD takes six to eight years. This means that you will finish when you are between 30 and 37 years old.
The standard retirement age for Social Security in the United States is 67, so it’s at least 30 years ahead of you. – plenty of time for your work. If you look in the academic world, there are a lot of people over the age of 67.
You have the potential to have a very long career, even if you are 42 years old and finish your doctorate at 50. There are still more than 15 years to go before retirement age. Today, very few people stay in a job for 15 years. Make sure you have enough opportunities to have a meaningful career.
Length of Ph.D.
In the United States, a Ph.D. typically lasts between 5 and 7 years. The first 2 years are dedicated to courses. Students, even those who choose to leave without completing the program, usually receive a master’s degree at this point.
The next 3 to 5 years are spent preparing a thesis – a long piece of writing based on independent research, which aims to make a significant original contribution to your field.
Doctorate versus PhD
Both the doctorate and professional doctorate are research-oriented postgraduate degrees.
However, while a PhD focuses on original research primarily around theoretical concepts, a professional PhD focuses on examining existing knowledge to solve concrete, practical problems.