The value of a PhD

By James Hayton,
November 28, 2018
I'm James, I'm a former physicist (PhD, Nottingham, 2007) and author of "PhD: An Uncommon Guide to Research, Writing & PhD Life".
Since 2010, I've been helping PhD students all over the world overcome barriers in their research and writing
My strategies have helped thousands of PhD students just like you to build confidence, write better and finish on time

What's the value of a PhD?For some, the value is clear. You want to do pharmaceutical research? Get a PhD and it'll open up the possibility of a well-paid career.For others, the value of a PhD comes from the way it's perceived by others. It's perhaps less quantifiable, but in some circles the status of having a PhD can be more valuable than the skills you developed on the way.Then there are some for whom doing a PhD carries no obvious economic, social or practical benefit. It's expensive, time-consuming and stressful, so why do it if there's no tangible gain?The value of a PhD, here, is whatever you believe it is. It comes from the story you tell yourself about what it means to be the kind of person who has a PhD. This is as good a reason as any to do it (and certainly more interesting than a cost-benefit analysis).Other people with different beliefs and different stories might never understand, but that's OK.

See also:
The "good" PhD student
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