There is no age limit for doing a PhD anywhere, including Australia. Learning should not be hindered by any obstacles. Sometimes people 50 and older feel uncomfortable taking a PhD course with a class full of young people. But it totally depends on the personality of the person, sometimes the person who is very socially active or has a carefree personality trait that the person hangs out with people under their age. There is nothing stopping you from learning if you decide to try it yourself. The answer to the big question is yes! You have to go.
It is not difficult to join a PhD course in Australia, whatever your age, starting at any age will give you the experience and you will be able to contribute to society with your achievements and your research. If you want to learn more about a certain topic and you couldn’t at a young age, that’s fine. If your goal is to get most of what you want today, go for it. There are many universities offering PhD courses in Australia, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t belong, but with a stronger will, these issues won’t bother you.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- This is a long job.
- If you already have a master’s degree, you can get a 2-3 year PhD at some universities (eg UK), but never in the US Allow at least 5 years, and more likely 6 -8 depending on your discipline.
- Ideally, your program will cover your tuition and living expenses, and you won’t graduate with debt. You can calculate the present value of your salary sacrifice, and that can be significant. Many people make their choice with this choice (I did) but they make it a conscious choice.
- Know yourself and know your choices.
- Remember that the downside of your PhD is spending 5-6 years investing in something else: your current job, a new career, non-PhD skills, etc. Some of these opportunities may be paid. They will give you knowledge, respect and good opportunities. The opportunity cost of a PhD in terms of salary and other jobs is high. This is true for all ages, of course. However, your opportunity cost as an experienced person may be higher.
- Make sure you fully understand your career options after a PhD. In some subjects, such as economics, PhDs are in high demand and almost everyone gets a well-paid professional or academic job. Political science too, I think. Academic and even professional jobs in their field are becoming scarce in some social sciences and humanities. I once heard that less than a third of the graduates of the best history programs in the world get university jobs.
- If you are not thinking of becoming a professor, think twice before doing a PhD. Yes, you can advance in your field. But most jobs I know of would reward six years of intensive experience in many fields, not just a PhD. I’m not sure the PhD is more rewarding.
You have to want it for yourself.
- Many people worry about the terrible choices of many doctors and how an adjunct professor harms them. This tells me that a lot of people get PhDs with poor expectations.
- Older people bring many good things to the table.
- PhD students are not known to be good at managing people, projects, or money. You’ve probably learned a few things about being a professional no matter what you’ve done. It will serve you well and make up for some of the disadvantages of age. Maybe even more than compensated. My experience as a management consultant has certainly helped me manage a large research project better and faster.
- When you’re done, as long as you’re under 35 or 40, faculty hiring committees will probably focus more on what you can do relative to your organization than your age. They may not even take into account your age or previous experience. If you are over 40, then yes, I think you will see discrimination in the job market with any major change in your occupation, regardless of occupation.
- But there are some drawbacks.
- You may or may not like being surrounded by many 25-year-old peers and your teachers treat you the same.
- If you don’t have savings or go into debt, you may end up living a much poorer life than you are used to.
- You are more likely to have family or financial responsibilities when you are older, so you will have less freedom when you graduate to make high-yield investments that are remote or unrewarding. Certain jobs, postdocs or scholarships that do not correspond to your personal situation will be more complicated. You may not be able or willing to work 12-hour days for the same reasons.
- This is the case with any subsequent career move, of course, especially those in the public service or non-profit sectors.
- Once there, remember that nobody gets a doctorate easily. It’s a constant source of anxiety when you’re in the thick of it. I just know that everyone feels the same way, and it’s not a specific result of your age or what you gave.
- As one commenter said: “I’m tempted to answer, when are you too young?” Good point. Here’s another guy making the same point. A topic for another day.
What is the best age to obtain a PhD?
The best age to obtain a PhD is three years ago. The second best moment is now. In fact, the best age to get a PhD is when you can complete it. The sooner you complete your PhD, the more life and career you will have with it, but there is no ideal age.
Having a master’s degree can shorten the time it takes to earn a doctorate, depending on your discipline. If PhD programs in your subject are structured to assume you have a master’s degree before you enter, then yes, you will complete a PhD faster.