How hard is a PhD really? I remember when I was a student and one of my professors told me that getting a doctorate was one of the hardest things she had ever done in her life. I thought that was an exaggeration, but after graduating and getting my doctorate ten years ago, I recognize that there is a lot of truth in this statement.
Earning a doctorate involves a multitude of things and varies widely by subject, institution, country and location of the general education system. your committee, your topic, if you have the funds, your ability to stay motivated, and many other factors.
There is no better way to prepare for an exam than a good night’s sleep. This is a proven way to do well in your exam. However, students tend to buy sleep with extra study time, which is actually not a good idea.
Skipping sleep is bad for your brain. You might be able to use it to finish the few hundred pages of reading assignments left, but it will affect your memory and cause poor performance.
Is a doctorate that easy?
In terms of workload and difficulty, a PhD is not necessarily as difficult as you might think, so don’t hesitate. That is not to say that it is not without its challenges, which we will now discuss.
Of course there are differences between projects, supervisors and universities, but in general I would say that the most important things that can make a PhD difficult are:
The advantages of a job get
- It is more likely to progress as a researcher than in a university. Universities are like a pyramid. The higher you want to climb, the less likely you are to get a job.
- In the business world, the purpose of a research project is more defined. So you focus on achieving a more concrete goal.
- You work on several projects at the same time instead of one project at the university. It gives you more variety in your work.
- Within the company, you are the expert in your role. This way your colleagues know how to find you with the right questions, for example from abroad.
- Also in the business world you build a large network of professional colleagues
- There is also time pressure, breeders efforts have deadlines and they need results so that they can. make it possible to continue their work.
- You may have to get used to “sharing” research with a team. You still need to ask for help to get into your system.
- Your research cannot be published while you are working. If you want to work as a researcher at a university later, this is difficult because you have no published research to your name.
How to apply for a doctorate
In general prospective students should submit a research proposal to the faculty where they wish to study ideas first with academic activity in this area. The proposal will outline what they plan to study with their research, how it relates to other research in their field, and the methods they plan to use to conduct their research. However, some doctorates, particularly in the natural sciences, are advertised as scholarships where the research objectives are more prescriptive.
A PhD usually lasts three years (four years for a New Way PhD – see below), or any available funding is usually sufficient for this period. Students may take more time to complete their thesis, but this will usually be at their own expense. For part-time self-funded students, it can take up to seven years.