As with everything in life, there is a list of pros and cons that come with furthering your education with a PhD. It is therefore down to you to work out whether the pros outweigh the cons for you, or whether you are better off not doing a PhD. Here are some of the pros and cons to hopefully help you decide.
Pros of Getting a PhD – Intellectual satisfaction
Some people were born to learn, and a PhD is about as high a level of learning as you can get. If you want to get to the very top and feel a real sense of achievement, a PhD is a fantastic way to get that.
Cons of Getting a PhD – Job opportunities
As impressive as a PhD is, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a job unless you are looking at something research related. It can be a lot of money to spend if there isn’t a guarantee of return. You may also be seen as overqualified but under-experienced as you will struggle to get experience in your field if you are spending all your time studying.
Pros of Getting a PhD – Recognition in your field
A PhD will get you recognition as an expert in your field and will hopefully open up even more opportunities for you. In fact, some jobs will require you to have a PhD or the equivalent, so in some areas, you will need that piece of paper in order to progress.
Cons of Getting a PhD – Your whole life
A PhD will take over your entire life. Studying and your field of study will be all you think about and talk about for a prolonged period of time. That’s a big chunk of your life devoted to a piece of paper and a title… So you need to work out whether this is right for you.
Pros of Getting a PhD – Developed skills
Your PhD will toughen you up for sure, and your analytic skills will become very refined, both of which will serve you well in your chosen field. Not to mention all the extra knowledge and expertise you will have in your subject area.
Cons of Getting a PhD – Family life
Studying for a PhD is a huge strain on your family life. You will need a partner who understands the commitment that this will be, both physically and mentally, and will be willing to support you through this. You might also have to ask them to support you financially as you won’t be able to have the luxury of a full-time income as you study.
Pros of Getting a PhD – Being a Doctor
There is something amazing about getting to have Dr as your title. Sure, it’s a little shallow, but there is nothing wrong with this being a bit of your motivation. Just remember that if anyone asks if there’s a doctor in the house, having your PhD doesn’t count!
Cons of Getting a PhD – Being left behind
Friends and colleagues will still be progressing while you are studying for your PhD, and it can be a little disheartening to see people on their third promotion, while you are still at the same stage.
So there you have a selection of pros and cons. Spend some time weighing up these issues and how they will affect you and those close to you. Speak to trusted friends, family members and colleagues to decide what is best for you.