Special Reports

Finding Your PhD: How to Choose the Right Doctorate Degree


The question of whether or not you should get a doctorate degree is quite easier to answer than which doctorate degree to get. Some people may already have plans but choose to stall because they are not sure how to go about choosing which degree to get.

Here are some suggestions you may want to consider to help you decide:

  • Don't rush. A doctorate is a commitment and commitments require hard work. Don't hurry making decisions, take your time and think hard about it just don't ovethink yourself into inaction.

  • Choose your quest wisely. Find a topic you're really interested in and be willing to do thorough readings on them. This interest will fuel your passion when you encounter trying times in your PhD journey.

  • Give it a try. Choose more than one topic and find out as much as you can about them. While you may not have access to research databases, Google Scholar might come in handy.

  • Find and mind the gap. In order to obtain a doctorate degree, it is important that you find a gap in the existing literature and that your research will somehow address that gap. Finding this gap can be less overwhelming if you write a summary of the books and papers you've read and identify what you've learned and what you still don't know.

  • Ask great questions. The research questions will guide your study and writing. Make sure they are logical and well-structured.

  • Be ready to be supervised and pushed. Someone will supervise your research, it can be a faculty or a senior researcher in the university, you don't need to be the best of buddies but you need to build a good working relationship.

  • Know your options.Taking your time offers a chance to explore different institutions and programs to know what they have to offer.

  • Self-assessment. Consider the impact this will have on your personal life and career. Some PhD's can take 3 years or more and this will entail intense work and activity so you may have to renegotiate commitments and make compromises.

  • What's in it for you? A PhD is an intense, working commitment that will demand time and effort. Know what you're doing it all for. Know why you need a PhD, what opportunities having it can offer and how it can help you post doc.

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