What's the point of a PhD?

April 5, 2012

The point of a PhD is really simple...It's to prove that you can conduct research on a professional academic level.

Ok, so you're supposed to contribute something too, but that's just how they test that you're capable.

So you set about your project probably not really knowing what you're doing.

Then you realise how hard it is, as you run into more and more problems.

But gradually you solve them. You find better ways of doing things, faster ways, easier ways. And when you've solved a problem once, it's much faster next time it crops up.

After a few years, you're a much better researcher than you were at the start, and all those problems you solved add up to a detailed and unique practical experience. First year students come to you for advice and you can instantly see what they've done wrong. To you, it's just because you made the same mistake years ago. To them, you seem like a wizard.

If you found this post useful, click below to share!

For more detailed guidance and support...

The PhD Academy All-Access Pass

Weekly calls with James

You don't have to do it all alone! Get the All Access Pass for weekly group calls and Q&A sessions with James

Every online course

Build your skills and confidence with our detailed video courses. Go at your own pace and get advice and support when you need it

Get the book!
PhD: an uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life

order now on amazon