The value of a PhD

By James Hayton,
November 28, 2018
James Hayton is a former physicist, PhD coach and author of "PhD: An uncommon guide"
Since 2010, he's coached hundreds of individual PhD students and now offers
group support and online courses

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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