Category Archives: PhD

5 Things You Need to Know before Starting a Ph.D. degree

Whatever the reason for starting a Ph.D. degree, careful planning is required.  It is not going to be smooth all the way, and it will require patience, dedication and self-drive. As those who have gone through this journey will confess, more than once, they felt like quitting but because they had a vision, and clear goals, they persevered to the end.  A Ph.D. is not for everyone. For instance, if you work in a Rosedale Tow Truck company, you may not require it. Before you embark on this dream, here are some of the things you should know.

Why do you want the Ph.D.?

This is an important question to ask yourself. Are you just looking for the title, something to add to your achievements or there is a specific goal you want to achieve? Does your job description require you to have the degree or you can do without it? Think about it if you’re going to work or already work in a science research institute. The degree can put you high above the competition in the job market.

Discipline is key to achieving goals

DisciplineJust as in college, you will enjoy the freedom of planning your day and lectures. There is no one to reprimand or ask questions when you miss classes or do not finish assignments, but this should not make you slack down because unlike in college, the pressure to perform is intense. There are continuance reports to carry out all throughout the course. Your performance in the first year will determine if you will continue with the rest of the class. Therefore, you have to give it your all.

Have a plan

To avoid burning out, you need to set goals both short term and long term. If you are also working, it can sometimes be overwhelming when you have work responsibilities to attend to and unfinished assignments to hand in before the deadline. Having a plan ensures that you know what is expected of you, get to prioritize and achieve your goals without too much struggle.

Learn to ask questions

It can be intimidating asking those who have been there before you questions. You do not want to look stupid, and at the same time, you want to perform your best. This fear can slow down your progress. Instead, ask the lecturers and others who have been around whatever questions you have. It will save you time and lead to a faster learning process. In fact, most of the people will be glad to help you around.

Have an Open Mind

Only about 14% of all Ph.D. students get an academic job. This means that you should keep your options open and not just restricted to the educational field. Think of entrepreneur opportunities that would benefit from your skills.

As hard as it might be, learn how to balance. Learn how to relax, enjoy some time with friends and family and take care of yourself. You will end up with more positive energy to guide you through the rough patches.


Steps to Getting a Doctorate Degree

InterestThere are many ways to get a doctorate but qualifications differ from one institution to another and the chosen profession. Before enrolling for the degree, ask yourself whether you require it in your career path or going for another Ph.D. will be more appropriate. It is also important to talk to superiors in your profession, higher education institutes and mentors to ascertain you are on the right path.  If possible discuss your intentions, concerns and also get clarifications from a career advisor. Here are the steps you should take.

What are your interests?

Your interests include your future career path and current research interests. You will have to develop and complete research on a topic of your choice. This may consist of a recently developed theory or a practical application of a research subject of your choice. Have clearly established intentions and subject before starting the process. If possible, think about the dissertation proposal beforehand.


Check out the Institutions

As you will find out, institutions have varied requirements and costs. Check out a few then make a comparison. Go for the ones that meet your budget. Important also is to stick to institutes that you are sure to meet their requirements. For instance, some institutions will request that you finish an undergraduate degree then a master’s degree before applying for the doctorate in their institute. Are you ready for this? If not, check other available options.

Also, do you want to access the distant learning programs or want to stay close to the institute? Is this arrangement allowed by the education center of your choice? It’s crucial that you go through the requirements keenly so that on the application day, you will have everything set and ready.

Understand the Fee Structure

FeesCheck the sponsorship options available at your university of choice. How much will the degree cost? How do you intend to make the payments? Are their special plans you can enroll for? In some institutions, you can request to work as a researcher and have some or all of the fees exempted. Check out the available options.

Get to know the Committee meeting dates

This is important because your application will be considered then. Your application should be ready and delivered to the institution before the committee meeting date or by the date specified by the administration. You should give the application process ample time to avoid mistakes or incomplete submissions.

Get a Supervisor

When all the admission requirements have been met, the institution may require that you get a supervisor to agree to check or approve all your work especially the dissertation proposal. This can be a junior or senior professor at the center.

It will take about eight years to get a doctorate from the time you enroll for a bachelor degree assuming that you will not take breaks. Some people prefer taking one degree at a time, go for a break then get a higher one. If you choose this path, it may take longer to achieve the doctorate.